Left tackles are going to be a big deal in the next couple of weeks as teams either lock up the good ones they have before the start of free agency March 11 or chase the best ones on the market for what is sure to be a lucrative amount of money.
Today the left tackle picture came into clearer focus when the Eagles signed Jason Peters to a four-year extension worth $41.3 million with $19.5 million of that guaranteed, according to ESPN.
Getting the ol' trusty calculator and ... that averages out to $10.35 million per year.
And there you have the starting point the coming free agent tackles will shoot for and try to surpass. The reason that is the aiming point is they will argue Peters signed an extension with a year left on his contract. They will say he took less money for the security of staying with his current team.
They will say that players are worth more once they hit the open market.
Obviously, teams may counter that some of the tackles in free agency aren't nearly as good as Peters. And the agents will counter that most of the free agent tackles are younger than the 32-year-old Peters.
The point is the back and forth will still center around the $10 million a year and $20 million guaranteed mark.
That's what Branden Albert, Eugene Monroe, Jared Veldheer, Anthony Collins and others will be aiming for at the beginning.
That, by the way, assumes any of them reach free agency. Why is that a question?
In recent days there have been numerous reports about the salary cap rising. First the report it was going to $130 million. Then a report it was going to $132 million. Lately some media outlets are suggesting the cap number will be higher than $132 million.
And with each reported rise, if true, the chances teams keep their outstanding left tackles increase. Suddenly the cap-strapped Baltimore Ravens may have more of a chance of keeping both Monroe and tight end Dennis Pitta.
Suddenly, the Chiefs may be able to rethink the idea of keeping Albert.
The next two weeks should be interesting.
[Note: My column in today's Miami Herald explains how Dolphins owner Stephen Ross feels about the possibility of chasing unhappy San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh now. It also lays out what might happen after this season. Check it out.]