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NFC East: Hard To Compare Peters’ New Deal To Smith

Posted Mar 3, 2014


It seems like it has flown a bit under the radar, at least here in Dallas, but the Eagles are hard at work trying to hold onto that division championship.

Philadelphia secured wide receiver Riley Cooper with a five-year deal worth $25 million earlier this week. That’s a nice, affordable deal for a guy who stepped up to the tune off 800 yards and eight touchdowns last season.

Much more importantly, in my mind, was Wednesday’s signing of All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters to a four-year, $41 million contract. Peters bounced back from not one, but two ACL injuries in 2012 to make the Pro Bowl and the All-Pro team in 2013. To be honest, it makes me feel a bit justified, as I ranked Peters as the best left tackle in the NFC East a couple of weeks ago.

It’s big for the Eagles, as it secures their protection for Nick Foles for the foreseeable future. No. 4 overall pick Lane Johnson isn’t going anywhere, having played just one season of his rookie contract, and now Peters will be an Eagle – likely for the remainder of his career.

That’s lovely for Philly. The question it raises in my mind, though, is what does this do for Tyron Smith? The 2011 first round draft pick has one year left on his rookie contract – a deal that pays him a mere $3.1 million per year.

One way or another, Smith’s pay day is coming. The Cowboys could be proactive and re-sign him this year – perhaps at a lower price – or they could tackle it next offseason. Either way, it’s highly unlikely the Cowboys let their No. 9 overall pick and Pro Bowl left tackle hit the open market.

I’m curious how much the two situations correlate to each other, though. Smith doesn’t have the experience or the accolades of Peters, who has made six Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams.

He also doesn’t have the age or the injury history. Smith is a staggeringly young 23 years old, which seems unreal for a three-year veteran. He’s also played in 47 of 48 possible games since the Cowboys drafted him.

Peters’ contract should make him the 10th-highest paid tackle in the game. He’s earned it, and his trophy case can back that up. Smith’s potential over the next five to six years is probably higher, however, and I think that will play a factor in his second contract.

It will be interesting to see how the negotiations play out. What carries more weight, the decade-long track record of a player like Peters, or the limitless potential of a young talent like Smith?

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