Eagles trade for Bills' Pro Bowl LT Peters
The Eagles have acquired Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters from the Bills for the 28th overall pick in next week's draft.
Buffalo will also receive a fourth-round pick (121st overall) in 2009, plus an undisclosed late-round draft pick in 2010.
The Eagles also announced they have signed the 6-4, 340-pound lineman to a six-year contract that will keep him in Philadelphia through 2014.
The acquisition of Peters, 27, completes a 2008 draft-day trade with Carolina in which the Eagles sent a first-round pick (T Jeff Otah) to the Panthers in exchange for a first-round draft pick in 2009 (traded to Buffalo for Peters), a second-round pick (later traded to Minnesota for draft picks that netted DT Trevor Laws and S Quintin Demps), and a fourth-round pick (G Mike McGlynn).
"Jason Peters is the best left tackle in football," said Eagles coach Andy Reid. "He is a powerful and athletic tackle and I have admired his play over the last few years on film. I have always believed that success in the National Football League is derived from the strong play of the offensive and defensive lines. This offseason we have added two young, top-flight offensive linemen in Jason and Stacy Andrews."
While the Bills lose their most talented offensive lineman, they rid themselves of a potential headache. Peters was threatening to repeat last year's offseason holdout. Scheduled to make a base salary of $7.2 million over the final two years of his contract, Peters is considered underpaid for a player at such a high-profile position.
By landing Peters, the Eagles fill an immediate hole on their offensive line after left tackle Tra Thomas signed with Jacksonville in free agency last month. Thomas, who protected Donovan McNabb's blind side the last 10 seasons, didn't get an offer from Philadelphia. The Eagles still have their own first-round pick, the 21st overall, and nine other picks. They acquired the 28th pick from Carolina in a draft-day trade last year.
The Eagles have revamped their offensive line since losing to Arizona in the NFC championship game. They signed former Cincinnati Bengals right tackle Stacy Andrews early in free agency. Andrews, the brother of Eagles right guard Shawn Andrews, is expected to replace longtime starter Jon Runyan, an unrestricted free agent coming off knee surgery.
Although Peters was voted to the Pro Bowl last season, several personnel evaluators told Scout.com that he didn't play at a high level.
Without Peters, the Bills have another need to address in either free agency or the draft. Buffalo was already in the midst of revamping its offensive line after releasing left guard Derrick Dockery and electing not to re-sign centers Duke Preston and Melvin Fowler in February.
The Bills, coming off their third straight 7-9 season, have added Geoff Hangartner, who is expected to take over at center, and versatile journeyman Seth McKinney in free agency.
Listed at 6-foot-4 and 328 pounds, Peters completed his sixth season last year and was selected to his second consecutive Pro Bowl. He was an undrafted rookie out of Arkansas and broke in with the Bills as a tight end.
After his rookie season, Peters was converted into an offensive lineman, and started 10 games at right tackle in 2005. He moved over to the left side midway through the following season.
Right tackle Langston Walker is a candidate to take over for Peters. Walker filled in on the left side during Peters' holdout last year, and in Buffalo's opener.
Peters was fined by the Bills more than $600,000 for missing mandatory minicamp and all of training camp last year before reporting to the team a day before Buffalo's season opener. It's not clear whether Peters paid those fines.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.