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Panthers, Saints Could Fight For Future Hall of Famer

Jason Peters is one of the greatest offensive tackles of his era, and the free agent could land with one of these two NFC South teams.
Jason Peters Free Agent

Despite his advanced age, free agent offensive tackle Jason Peters could return for his 20th year in the NFL. An undrafted free agent back in 2004, the Arkansas product was once the gold standard of offensive line play. From 2007 to 2016, Peters made nine straight Pro Bowl appearances (excluding 2012, when he missed the year to injury) while earning First-Team All-Pro honors in 2011 and 2013. Age has caught up to the veteran and he’s not a starting-caliber player anymore, but that shouldn’t stop him from landing a job as a backup or emergency starter.

Jason Peters signed with the Seahawks as a free agent midway through the 2023 season. Appearing in eight games while making two starts, the future Hall of Famer finished the season with an uninspiring 53.9 overall grade but a respectable 71.2 run blocking grade. Given his adequate ability to step in at a moment’s notice combined with his invaluable knowledge of the position, Peters could be a great signing for the Carolina Panthers or the New Orleans Saints.

Panthers, Saints Should Pursue Free Agent Justin Peters

On paper, the Carolina Panthers have two serviceable tackles in Ikem Ekwonu and Taylor Moton. While Moton is arguably the most consistent player on Carolina’s rebuilt offensive line, the jury is still out on whether or not Ekwonu can be a reliable starter. Following a promising rookie season, the former top-10 pick failed to make the Year 2 leap in 2023. While it’s still far too early to give up on the North Carolina State product, it couldn’t hurt to sign Jason Peters as a free agent.

In a perfect world, Peters could be an adequate swing tackle who earns his contract from the bench. Ekwonu possesses elite physical traits but has yet to consistently turn his physical gifts into on-field production. Coaches can only do so much, and signing a veteran free agent like Jason Peters should increase his odds of long-term success. In a worst-case scenario, Peters can step in for the struggling third-year pro and help keep Bryce Young upright as he tries to prove himself at the NFL level.

Saints Need Somebody

The New Orleans Saints have one of the worst offensive lines in football. This is bad news regardless of who’s under center, but it’s especially bad when Derek Carr is your quarterback. The former Raider is one of the worst in the league when pressured, and he’ll probably have defenders in his face throughout the season. Trevor Penning looks like a bust, so it’s all up to first-round pick Taliese Fuaga and an injured Ryan Ramczyk who might not even suit up in 2024. Given their terrible cap situation, Jason Peters might be the best free agent in their price range.

As of this posting, New Orleans only has $5.47 million in cap space, and that’s after restructuring just about everyone’s contract. Dennis Allen must make the playoffs if he wants to keep his job, and the offensive line could singlehandedly prevent that from happening. Jason Peters might not be a great starter anymore, but the free agent could make life easier for Derek Carr and give him just enough time to consistently find Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed.

Main Photo: Christopher Hannewinc – USA Today Sports


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