Jason Peters contract could set the market for Branden Albert, other OTs

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

A tackle in free agency will not come cheap.

Arizona Cardinals fans must have collectively groaned on Wednesday. The Philadelphia Eagles announced that they have signed left tackle Jason Peters to a four-year contract extension worth $51.3 million and over $19 million in guaranteed money. He had one year remaining on his previous contract.

Peters is a six-time Pro Bowler and has been named an All-Pro five times in his nine-year career. He certainly is one of the best in the game. He is, though, 32 years old.

The deal is not pertinent to the Cardinals by itself. However, with the team looking to sign a free agent tackle, this deal could have just set the market.

Last offseason, Jake Long signed with the St. Louis Rams for four years and $34 million. Jermon Bushrod signed with the Bears for five years and almost $36 million.

How much will it cost to sign Branden Albert, Anthony Collins or any other of the tackles on the market?

Albert made $9.8 million last season with his franchise tag. Players hitting the open don't typically look to make less. He is also 29, three years younger than Peters.

Many fans think that Albert is going to be too expensive, that they should target Anthony Collins, who played very effectively in seven starts.

However, since more and more teams are looking to find their left tackle, even Collins might have a small boatload of money thrown at him. With more money available as the salary cap is reportedly going to be $132 million, you have to figure that this will elevate contract numbers.

So all this begs the question, what is above average play at tackle worth, especially since Arizona hasn't had even close to above average play since probably Lomas Brown.

Cardinals fans love the thought of a bargain at left tackle. But unless you stumble across it or draft it (and as last season showed, even great LT prospects will struggle at LT in Year 1), you get what you pay for.

By all accounts, Arizona appears to be ready to pay what it takes to get a starting caliber left tackle.

Bradley Sowell was a very inexpensive option, and he wasn't a complete failure -- sacks allowed were down, but the help he needed changed what the team could do offensively.

So the question is, Cardinals fans, are you ready to pay for (ok, for the team to pay for) what it costs for production to protect Carson Palmer's blind side? Because that's what is probably going to happen.

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