The Cleveland Browns addressed both of their tackle positions this offseason, but they may not be done as they have been keeping an eye on Jason Peters.
Offensive tackle was clearly the biggest need for the Cleveland Browns this offseason, and it has certainly been a priority for the front office. However, they may not be done targeting the position, as the team has been “lurking” in free agent offensive tackle Jason Peters‘ market, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo and James Palmer.
Garafolo and Palmer reported multiple teams have been in contact with Peters, but there does not appear to be a rush to sign the veteran lineman. Peters’ age and recent injury history has made his market quiet despite playing a premium position at a high-level, but interest may be growing considering he is the best offensive tackle available.
The 38-year-old missed three games in 2019 due to a knee injury, but returned after an arthroscopic surgery in the middle of the season. Pro Football Focus gave Peters an overall grade of 83.4 and a pass blocking grade of 86.7 in 14 games last season.
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Peters remains a top offensive tackle in the NFL despite his age, but his fit with the Browns is questionable. The Browns have already heavily invested in their offensive tackles after signing Jack Conklin to a three-year, $42 million contract and drafting Jedrick Wills with the No. 10 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Browns could be keeping in contact with Peters in case they are uncomfortable with Wills’ transition to left tackle. Wills has played right tackle since high school, so it will take some work to make him comfortable at protecting Baker Mayfield‘s blindside at left tackle.
If the Browns do not believe Wills is ready to take over at left tackle, they could sign Peters to a one-year deal to be the starting left tackle while Wills sits for a season to be groomed as the starting left tackle in 2021.
The Browns do have the cap space to sign Peters, who could have a wide range of contract offers at this point. Some teams may value Peters’ talent and experience, pushing his salary towards the $10 million range. However, some teams may question Peters’ durability and age, pushing his salary closer to the $5 million range.
Peters is likely not looking to be a No. 3 offensive tackle for any team this offseason (unless perhaps it is the Eagles who sign him, his previous team), so the Browns pursuing Peters to be a backup seems unlikely.
The Browns could just be keeping tabs on Peters’ market in case they are uncomfortable with Wills at left tackle or if Peters is willing to be a backup. However, with other teams also keeping an eye on Peters, the Browns being the landing spot for Peters does not seem likely.