Sun, Dec 15, 2019

The Philadelphia Eagles have reached a four-year contract extension with All-Pro right tackle Lane Johnson, the team announced on Friday. Per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the deal is for $72 million, with $54.595 million guaranteed, making Johnson the highest paid tackle in football. Johnson’s deal surpasses the contracts of Oakland Raiders right tackle Trent Brown, who makes $16.5 million a year in average annual value. 

Johnson was in the third year of a five-year, $56.25 million contract he signed in 2016, and was owed $27.303 million over the next two seasons. The $54.595 million is the largest guarantee to any tackle in the game, surpassing Brown’s $36.25 million earlier this year. The tackle took to Twitter just after the news was announced, thanking among others owner Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman.

Johnson, who has long been considered one of the best right tackles in the game, was named to the Pro Bowl for the second consecutive season in 2018, but didn’t reach the All-Pro level of his previous season after playing through a Grade 2 MCL sprain and a high ankle sprain on his left leg. A slow start hindered his overall statistics (five sacks, 36 pressures), but Johnson didn’t allow a sack after Week 5 and allowed just nine pressures over a seven-game stretch to close the season.

Johnson asserted his dominance in 2017 based on the competition he faced at right tackle: Ryan Kerrigan (twice), Justin Houston, Jason Pierre-Paul (twice), Joey Bosa, Von Miller, DeMarcus Lawrence (twice), Michael Bennett, and Khalil Mack. The group combined for 86.5 sacks in 2017, but Johnson didn’t allow a single one to any of those players. He was graded as the No. 7 tackle by Pro Football Focus, finishing with a run block grade of 80.2 (18th in NFL) and pass protection grade of 85.0 (seventh in NFL).

Johnson’s presence at right tackle has been instrumental toward Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz playing well over the years. Wentz played 12 games with Johnson at right tackle in his breakout 2017 season, completing 60.7 percent of his passes for 3,074 yards, 30 touchdowns and seven interceptions for a 101.2 passer rating. In 2018, Wentz completed 69.1 percent of his passes for 2,714 yards, 19 touchdowns and six interceptions for a 102.2 passer rating in the 10 games he played with Johnson. This season, Wentz completed 62.7 percent of his passes in the nine full games Johnson has lined up at right tackle for 2,092 yards, 15 touchdowns and four interceptions, good for a 94.1 passer rating. 

Johnson’s extension is the latest for an Eagles team that has been busy shaping contracts, as CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora said the franchise was looking to sign several core players before the 2019 season ended. The Eagles have signed right guard Brandon Brooks, long snapper Rick Lovato, and kicker Jake Elliott to contract extensions this month and are looking to sign Zach Ertz and Malcolm Jenkins to deals as they seek to add cap space this offseason. 

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