Not that long ago (in the grand scheme of things), the Eagles liked to target young players for long-term extensions that pay good money now — but that ultimately ended up compensating the player well below the top of the market. The contracts given to tackle Lane Johnson conjures memories of deals that ultimately resulted in acrimony, once the players fell far behind their peers on the compensatory pecking order.
The best (worst) example came 10 years ago, when the Eagles signed guard Shawn Andrews through the 2015 season.
Johnson, a first-round pick in 2013, became eligible for a new contract once the 2015 regular season ended. With one year left on his rookie deal and a six-year deal, Johnson is now under contract through 2021.
The market will change dramatically over the course of a deal that reportedly pays Johnson $35.5 million guaranteed, with a maximum value of $63 million. Whatever the details of the deal (and they’ll eventually be made available), there’s a chance that, by 2018 or 2019, Johnson won’t be as thrilled with his contract as he currently is — especially as he prepares to become the team’s full-time left tackle, a more valuable position than playing on the right side.
The deal may end up being a very good one for the Eagles, helping them craft a favorable cap situation well into the future. But as the cap continues to increase significantly and as the market for tackles inevitable keeps climbing, they’ll have to hope that Johnson never comes to the conclusion once he sees what other players are getting paid that he got a raw deal from the Eagles.