|Peters is underpaid compared to his peers (BuffaloBills.com)|
[editor's note, by Brian Galliford] Branching off of this morning's discussions, sireric takes a look at the idea of extending Jason Peters. Great work, and a compelling argument. End Note
That is the question. Recently, the Rumblings community has debated the question about whether or not it is a good idea to give Jason Peters a contract extension now, or wait a few years and extend him later. First, we must review a few facts:
1. Jason Peters just signed a new deal two years ago. He currently has three years left and will earn $2.2 million next season, $2.95 million in '09, and $3.4 million in '10. After that he is available to hit free agency in 2011.
2. When it comes to the salary of offensive linemen in the NFL, Peters ranks pretty low. Last year, Walter Jones of the Seahawks earned $ 5,000,960, Willie Anderson of the Bengals earned $ 6,452,040, Orlando Pace of the Rams earned $ 6,452,040, and Chris Samuels of the Redskins earned $ 5,450,000. That is just the tackle position - forget the guards.
3. Where team salary is considered, Peters ranks third behind Derrick Dockery and Langston Walker.
4. This year Peters was named to his first Pro Bowl, and was named second team All-Pro. Both Walker and Dockery have nary a Pro Bowl or All-Pro between them.
Jason Peters is not a character issue kind of guy; I doubt highly that he would complain openly about a contract that he signed just two years ago. That said, is it wise to give him a raise now and put him more in line with what other franchise-type left tackles are making? Everyone likes to complain that Ralph Wilson doesn’t spend any money; neglecting to pay Peters a salary comparable to those of his peers would only serve to bolster those arguments.
I have argued that I wouldn’t give Corey Williams a big "Dockery" sized contract, mainly because he hasn’t proven that he can be a starter for a full year. It would be hypocritical of me to now say that I would give Peters a huge raise, because he’s had one good year. I would be more willing to pay him like a perennial Pro Bowl player when he proves he is a perennial Pro Bowl player.
Could Peters ask for a raise? Sure. It wouldn’t be motivated by greed or selfishness either. Put yourself in his position: you work for a multi-million dollar company, you work with four other guys, who combined with you make up a very critical part of that company. You handle the most important position in your group - and have received accolades from your peers as being one of the best in the business - yet you aren’t paid like it. In fact, you are third in pay in your department, despite the accolades and the more difficult position you play. It’s human nature to want to be acknowledged, both in respect and in monetary compensation, for your efforts.
I like Peters, and I would try to hold off at least a year before giving him an extension. However if he asks for one in the mean time, it might be difficult for me to say no.