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Should Bengals consider pursuing Jason Peters?

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The Bengals have talked about being more active in free agency this offseason, but will they go after one of the biggest names?

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Wild Card Round - Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

News broke this week that not only will Eagles left tackle Jason Peters not be retiring, but he will be hitting the open market.

When you combine this with the Bengals needing to upgrade their offensive line, and the team saying they plan on being more active in free agency. It naturally creates the question of whether Cincinnati should throw their hat in the ring for one of the biggest names hitting the open market.

Peters has been one of the best left tackles in the NFL for quite sometime now. Even this past season, he finished with a grade of 82.4 with Pro Football Focus. He still appears to have gas in the tank despite turning 38 in January.

The biggest knock on Peters over his career has been his health, but he has only missed more than three games once in his past seven seasons. There is no question that it would be great to have him on the Bengals, but there are quite a few things that stand in the way of this being a real possibility.

We will start with the biggest reason Cincinnati shouldn’t go after Peters and that is Jonah Williams. You remember him, right? He is the offensive tackle the Bengals drafted 11th overall last season.

Williams was actually one of the top-ranked players in the 2019 class, and it was somewhat-surprising that he even fell to Cincinnati outside of the top-10. Of course, he missed all of his rookie season with an injury, but the team is obviously still very committed with him being the team’s left tackle going forward.

With that in mind we have to consider the kind of contract that Peters may be getting on the open market with plenty of teams very desperate for offensive line help. Teams that feel like they’re Super Bowl competitors will probably be willing to throw a very generous offer at the veteran for his services over the next year or two. The Bengals wouldn’t be smart to do that if they’d just end up kicking Peters or Williams to right tackle or inside to guard.

There is also no question that from the outside looking in that the Bengals aren’t a very highly viewed franchise after earning the first overall pick. Peters wouldn’t exactly be banging the door down to get into Cincinnati. That means to pry him away from other offers, the Bengals would have to offer above what a team that could court him with the possibility of making the run in the playoffs would be offering.

This isn’t even mentioning the fact that the report states Peters and the Eagles are still in contact for a new deal. You could easily assume he’d be open to returning to Philadelphia if all else fails. Again, doing any of this to fill a position in which Cincinnati already invested a high draft pick just last season, is not a good idea.

There is no doubt that Peters will make an NFL team very happy this offseason, and if the Bengals hadn’t drafted Williams last season, the tone of this post would be very different. However, it just isn’t a great match that makes given where the expectations for Cincinnati currently stand.