In today's NFL all the headlines may go to 5,000-yard quarterbacks and 2,000-yard running backs, but those players wouldn't have the successes they do were it not for the big uglies who open running lanes and keep passers upright.
That's what puts the Philadelphia Eagles in such a bind right now. A player that new head coach Chip Kelly was counting on to anchor a Philly offensive line that struggled mightily in 2012 has joined the growing list of NFL players who just won't get out of their own way.
Left tackle Jason Peters, who lost the 2012 campaign to a torn Achilles' tendon, was arrested Wednesday in Louisiana. As The Associated Press reported via NFL.com, the 31-year-old was charged with drag racing and resisting arrest by flight.
Apparently, Peters enjoyed the latest "Fast and Furious" movie just a little too much.
Deputy L. Deal said he saw a white Camaro and blue sedan waiting at the same red light at 4:45 a.m. CT and that the cars began racing once the light turned green, according to the arrest affidavit first obtained by The News-Star. After the deputy activated the emergency lights, the Camaro, driven by Peters, allegedly sped away while the blue sedan immediately pulled over. The affidavit said the Camaro was clocked at speeds of 100-mph-plus during the deputy's pursuit.
The Eagles released a statement, saying that "We are aware of the reports that Jason Peters was arrested in Louisiana. We have been in contact with Jason, and due to the legal nature of this matter, we will not have any further comment at this point."
The bigger question for the Eagles becomes what do they do next, although it's likely that the team will wait to see if the NFL takes any action before taking any of their own.
There's a possibility that this could bring discipline from the commissioner's office, as it isn't Peters' first brush with the law.
In 2011, Peters was arrested for violating the loud music ordinance in Shreveport, Louisiana (no, I'm not kidding) and resisting arrest. When an officer asked Peters to produce his driver's license after stopping him for the music being too loud Peters refused, and that got the big man locked up.
Granted, the first arrest isn't exactly a major crime, but that doesn't change the fact that Peters has been arrested twice in two years. Since we're talking about Roger "the Hammer" Goodell, that could potentially subject Peters to a suspension under the NFL's personal conduct policy.
Or not. After all, it's Goodell we're talking about. Even-handedness is not really a specialty of his.
Frankly, there probably won't be any real discipline from the league or the Eagles, outside of a possible fine. Drag racing is incredibly stupid and dangerous, both for Peters and anyone else on the road.
However, if recent history is any indication, it's probably not enough to earn Peters an NFL-mandated vacation, especially since the first arrest was rather silly.
The Eagles aren't going to do anything because they can't afford to. At least not yet.
There's a reason why Jason Peters is the highest-paid player for the Eagles. In 2011 (Peter's last season with significant playing time) he ranked as the NFL's top offensive tackle, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
With Peters sidelined last year the Eagles' offensive line struggled in a big way.
Granted, Peters' injury wasn't the only factor that contributed to Philly's offensive woes last year, but line play was a big part of the drop off in both passing and rushing yardage. Sacks allowed jumped an eye-popping 50 percent from 2011 to 2012.
Still, this arrest doesn't do anything to thicken the ice that Peters is standing on in Philadelphia. After all, Peters is on the wrong side of 30 and coming off a major injury.
Yes, offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland recently told Paul Domowitch of The Philadelphia Daily News that "Honestly, you wouldn’t know Jason ever had an injury," but the Eagles also just spent a top-five pick on rookie tackle Lane Johnson.
If Peters struggles in 2013, his hefty salary is going to become awfully hard to stomach, especially in this age of low-priced rookie deals.
That puts quite a bit of pressure on Peters this season, and makes his decision to do something so incredibly dumb all the more harder to fathom.
What's done is done though. If Peters returns to form in 2013, this incident will be forgotten quickly. If he doesn't, then it will be sub-par play and a fat cap number that gets him a ticket out of town, not drag racing.
That question won't be answered until well after the season starts, but there's one thing we already know.
Between Jason Peters' arrest, the battle at quarterback and the LeSean McCoy lawsuit, there's been no shortage of drama in Philadelphia this summer.
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