There’s little doubt that Jason Peters is a future Hall-of-Famer at left tackle but is he still good enough to help the New York Jets?
That’s the question New York will be asking themselves over the next week as their tackle position battles range on into the later part of training camp. Tackles like Max Mitchell and Billy Turner have not performed well during training camp or preseason action, and Duane Brown is still on the PUP list from a shoulder injury he suffered in 2022.
As available offensive linemen go, the Jets could do a lot worse than Jason Peters.
Peters, 41, may be far past the prime of his career that saw him reach the Pro Bowl nine times with a Super Bowl trophy and 2010 All-Decade Team nominee, but he continues to trudge on his career. Adam Schefter reported Friday morning that the former Eagle and Bill is looking to “play this season in what would be his 20th NFL season.”
With any potential signing this late into camp, there are real pros and cons every team has to weigh before making a decision. Let’s go through each now for the free-agent tackle.
The Jets have a very large need for depth along the tackle position. As mentioned before, both Mitchell and Turner have not instilled confidence so far even if they outperformed Peters last season. In the end, protecting a Hall-of-Fame quarterback with a Hall-of-Fame tackle is a pretty sweet idea if everyone can stay healthy.
When he is healthy, Peters is still a very viable option along the offensive line. Pro Football Focus graded his 2022 season with Dallas at an above-average 70.3. Peters also can play on both the right and left side as he’s shown to do over the last few seasons as well.
He also could come very cheap. The Jets don’t have a lot of money. If they want to make a move for Peters, signing him to a veteran-minimum deal would be the perfect blend of low-risk, high-reward strategy that the front office usually likes to roll out before the season.
Signing Peters also isn’t a massive indictment on either Mekhi Becton or Brown either. Both can be penciled in as starting tackles on the right and left side while Peters is penciled in as a swing tackle that can jump in at any moment. A relationship with Jets general manager Joe Douglas from their days in Philadelphia certainly doesn’t hurt either. He’s also a great locker room presence and leader who could help Becton’s development as well.
Good free-agent offensive linemen are hard to come by, but Peters is certainly an intriguing option for the Jets to consider if they are still worried about the depth at their tackle position.
As good as Peters once was, his best days are very far behind him. The real challenge for him has been staying healthy through an entire football game. Over the last four seasons, Peters has left games due to nagging injuries 14 times outside of the 20 games he has missed due to injury or being on the inactive list.
Can the Jets afford to bring in another injury-prone tackle?
Outside of his inability to stay healthy, Peters didn’t have the greatest of seasons last year anyway with Dallas. His high PFF rating could very well be relied heavily on the lack of snaps he received during the season. According to Jets X-Factor, Peters was among the worst tackles in football last season in pressures allowed. At 41 years old, that pressure number isn’t likely to get better.
There was once a time when even the great Jerry Rice wasn’t wanted by NFL teams and it’s evident that current organizations are leaving Peters alone for a reason.