The investment that the Buffalo Bills made in an undrafted tight end nearly two decades ago is still paying dividends — though this time, it’s with the Chicago Bears.
All-Pro tackle Jason Peters, 39, is making his third stop in the NFL after finalizing a deal with the Chicago Bears. Peters is expected to provide depth for the Bears offensive line, while Bills fans are forced to play “what if” the team hadn’t let the potential Hall of Famer slip away.
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Peters Signs with Chicago
As Nick Shook of NFL.com reported, Peters agreed to terms with Chicago and has the chance to play an important role for an injury-struck Bears offensive line. The team has just two healthy starters after Teven Jenkins and James Daniels were injured during training camp and Germain Ifedi was placed on the physically unable to perform list back in July.
As Shook noted, Peters has the chance to reunite with offensive line coach Juan Castillo, who worked work Peters during his first two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. Peters said earlier this year that he planned to continue his career and play a mentoring role.
“I don’t know about ‘a whole lot,’ but I still got some in the tank, and I can definitely show some of the young guys how to play the game of football,” he said, via NFL.com. “You can know the Xs and Os, but I’m gonna be the one to stay with ’em after practice and show ’em how to really play the game, the technique, and the things about the detail of the football game throughout the course of the season.”
Bills Fans Watch Hall of Famer Career from Afar
For many Bills fans, the career of Peters reflects one of the franchise’s biggest mistakes in decades. It was the Bills who signed him as an undrafted free agent back in 2004, eventually converting the man who played tight end at Arkansas into a right tackle, then eventually moving him to left tackle.
The two sides had something of a fallout in 2008, ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio noted, with the Bills fining Peters $600,000 for missing mandatory minicamp and all of training camp as the two sides engaged in a contract dispute. Peters eventually reported a day before the team’s season opener. He was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles after the season in exchange for a first-round draft pick, the No. 28 overall. While the move worked out well for the Bills — they used the pick to take center Eric Wood, who became a top offensive lineman and cornerstone of the team that broke the playoff drought in 2017 — it also brought pain as fans were forced to watch Peters become one of the best offensive tackles in the game.
Peters dealt with a series of injuries late in his career, missing 24 of the last 55 games he played for the Eagles, but is still seen by many as a Hall of Famer. As Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia noted, Peters has a resume that puts him on par with some of the best offensive tackles of all time.
“The only offensive tackles named to more Pro Bowls are Anthony Munoz of the Bengals (11), Jonathan Ogden of the Ravens (11), Willie Roaf of the Saints and Chiefs (11) and Joe Thomas of the Browns (10),” Frank wrote. “All are Hall of Famers except Thomas, who retired after the 2017 season and isn’t eligible yet.”
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