The Eagles weren't exactly insistent Jason Peters attend OTAs this offseason, but the nine-time Pro Bowl selection admitted Tuesday his absence was related to his contract situation as well.
Peters stressed he made the decision to stay away from OTAs primarily to give his 35-year-old body a break. Apparently, the Eagles were on board with the idea, too, and even gave the left tackle their blessing.
"It was kind of my call, like a 70/30-type deal," Peters said on the field after practice. "I just wanted to rest a little bit this year and come back refreshed."
While OTAs are voluntary, coaches generally prefer participation, so the Eagles' essentially excusing Peters is somewhat surprising - though it certainly makes sense at his age.
Then again, Peters may have chosen to skip regardless. With two years remaining on his contract, and only $1,000,000 in guaranteed money in the final season, Peters acknowledged a lack of "reassurance" played a role in his decision.
"A little bit," Peters said. "I want to retire here. I don't want to go anywhere. Plus, I wanted to rest a little bit.
"I show up every year. I don't miss a day. I just wanted to rest a little bit this year."
Peters under his current deal will count for $11.7 million under the salary cap in 2017, and $11.25 million in '18. However, as it stands now, the Eagles could decide to move on next year with minimal consequence.
Furthermore, the Eagles reportedly asked Peters to take a pay cut during the offseason, perhaps foreshadowing the club's intentions - though he didn't seem to take the request personally.
"They're going to send you the lowest bid they can," Peters said. "Nothing against them and nothing against me - it's business."
Many players in his position would be lobbying the front office for an extension, possibly even threatening to hold out. Despite missing OTAs, Peters never considered sitting out minicamp or training camp when it opens in July.
"I was going to come to camp," Peters said. "Like I said, I want to retire here. I don't want to be year-to-year, doubting. 'Are they going to release me? Are they going to do this?' Taking pay cuts and all of that.
"I want to make sure I have the reassurance that I'm going to retire here, don't have to worry about it, show up and show out."
The two sides don't appear to be entirely on the same page, but the Eagles and Peters' agent remain in communication on contract matters.
"My guy is talking to Howie," Peters said. "I don't really know in depth, but I'll know something soon."
Peters is entering his 14th NFL season and ninth with the Eagles. He had a down year as recently as 2015, struggling with injuries and generally looking like the aging player that he is.
Some hesitance on the part of the organization to extend Peters' contract is to be expected.
Peters bounced back with a strong season in 2016, earning his fourth consecutive invitation to the Pro Bowl. He may not be the most dominant offensive lineman in the league like he once was, but Peters is still more than serviceable.
As far as for how long, Peters hasn't given the future much consideration.
"I take it one year at a time," Peters said. "I don't want to go anywhere. I want to be an Eagle, retire here, make this home, so I haven't thought past this year."
If and when he does slow down, there is a potential solution to squeeze a few more seasons out of Peters.
"If I felt like I was getting beat too much, I would just move inside," Peters said. "Whatever I can do to help the team.
"If I have to play guard, I'll play guard."
At this point, it wouldn't be shocking if Peters gets a new deal. An extension could work for both parties, lowering his cap number in '17 and possibly '18, while simultaneously giving him the guarantees - or reassurance - he desires.
The Eagles need Peters, and Peters still wants to stay with the Eagles. Figuring something out that's mutually beneficial is not out of the question.