The Philadelphia Eagles have been spending frugally in free agency so far this offseason. Their strategy has been to plug holes and extend foundational pieces. The latest player to get rewarded for his loyalty to the organization was former first-round pick Lane Johnson.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Eagles handed Johnson a one-year, $33.445 million contract extension that keeps him in Philly through the 2026 season. The deal includes $30 million in guaranteed money and keeps his base salary at $14.15 million in 2023. Johnson will remain the fourth-highest-paid right tackle in football on a per-year basis at roughly $18 million (via Spotrac) stemming from the four-year, $72 million deal he inked with the team in 2019.
The 32-year-old has been a walking billboard for toughness throughout his 10-year career, too. He elected to forego surgery after injuring his groin on Christmas Eve and played on a torn abductor throughout the 2022 postseason. He logged 202 snaps in three playoff games, including Super Bowl LVII, without giving up a single sack.
“It’s just one of those things you’ve got to bandage up and just go out and play,” Johnson said, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “It’s very common among hockey players. It’s a little different in the trenches. But I’ll make it work.”
Yes, it’s a Philly thing. Johnson, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2013 draft, finally went under the knife in February to get his groin patched up by Dr. William Meyers. He is expected to be 100% healthy for the start of training camp.
Eagles Saved $9.4 Million in Salary Cap Space
General manager Howie Roseman’s decision to extend Johnson this offseason was a multi-layered move. Not only did he reward one of the greatest players in franchise history but the savvy front-office executive also manipulated the salary cap.
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that the Eagles brought their 2023 cap number down from $24.8 million to roughly $14.8 million. That’s a win-win for the player and organization as Philly looks to shed money to possibly add more pieces in free agency. The Eagles currently have $13.92 million available (via OverTheCap), the fourth-best total in the NFL.
Safety remains a top priority, along with adding another linebacker and maybe a third receiver. Of course, the biggest fish in the pond is Jalen Hurts. The Eagles have been working on getting a contract extension done for their franchise quarterback ever since the red-and-white confetti came down in Super Bowl LVII. That bank-breaking deal could hit $260 million in total value.
Nick Sirianni: Lane is ‘Best Tackle in Football’
Johnson has arguably been the best player at his position for the better part of a decade. He has made two All-Pro teams (2017, 2022) and four Pro Bowls (2017, 2018, 2019, 2022) while routinely earning kudos from Pro Football Focus. They gave him an 84.8 overall grade, which was the fifth-best grade among all qualifying tackles in 2022 — and it marked the sixth consecutive year he earned an 80.0-plus PFF grade (excluding his injury-riddled 2020 campaign).
Further, Johnson hasn’t surrendered a sack since November 22, 2020: Week 11 against the Cleveland Browns. That spans more than two years and almost 2,000 snaps. Incredible. Head coach Nick Sirianni has never been shy when doling out praise for his starting right tackle. Johnson is undoubtedly the best in the business at what he does.
“You’ve heard me say it; Lane is the best tackle in the NFL. I didn’t say right tackle; I said best tackle in the NFL,” Sirianni told reporters on December 28. “Obviously anytime you’re missing one of your best players on the team, that’s going to affect you, but we do have a lot of confidence in the guys that will be backing him up and we have a lot of good options in that, as well.”