Perhaps the Jason Peters era will be coming to a close in Philadelphia after all.
The Eagles released a statement on Thursday saying they will be letting Peters test the free agency market when it opens on March 16th, although the two sides are expected to remain in contact.
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport added that Peters still wants to play, and it is likely he will find teams ready-and-willing to pay him.
The news comes after Doug Pederson said at the NFL Combine last month that he wanted Peters back.
“Oh yeah. Yeah,” Pederson said when asked if he wanted Peters back. “I think I said the same thing about Darren Sproles. Heck yeah.”
The statement and the comparison to Sproles were certainly interesting considering the Eagles brought Sproles back twice after it appeared his time with the team was done.
Peters potentially coming back would certainly be a surprise as the team spent their 2019 first-round pick on Andre Dillard, trading up to select him and make him their left tackle of the future. Any decision to re-sign Peters would presumably push back Dillard starting another year, meaning he would spend the first two years of his career as a backup.
General manager Howie Roseman was not as strong as Pederson was in saying he wanted Peters back, but he also didn’t shut the door on a possible return.
“As it pertains to all free agents I think it is important we keep an open mind and try to figure out as we more information,” Roseman said. “A big part of this week is accumulating more information, that is what we will do here. Obviously when talking about Jason Peters you are talking about a Hall of Fame player, a Hall of Fame person, someone that is very special to us and played at a really high level last year. We will go through all those decisions this week.”
Perhaps Roseman and Pederson were just being kind when asked about Peters, and have no intention of bringing him back. The timing of this statement is likely no coincidence, as their statements did create plenty of speculation that the team might already be willing to move on from Andre Dillard, their 2019 first-round pick.
You can follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org!