Eagles’ Lane Johnson tweets receipt of $17,747 rookie dinner


The NFL may want to ban Richie Incognito-style bullying in locker rooms, but rookie hazing is alive and well.

The latest example comes from Philadelphia, where second-year offensive tackle Lane Johnson has tweeted a picture of a receipt from a rookie dinner. The total bill came in at $17,747.86. Items included a $3,495 bottle of wine.

Johnson didn’t say who footed the bill for the rookie dinner, but veterans forcing rookies to pay for exorbitant nights out is a longstanding tradition in the NFL. Just this week, Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant talked about how upset he was during his rookie year when veterans forced him to pay a $55,000 dinner tab.

This longstanding tradition should come to an end. Just because NFL players make a lot of money, that doesn’t mean they should be pressured to spend that money on frivolous things like bottles of wine that cost as much as the average American takes home in a month. A good veteran mentor would take a rookie aside and talk to him about investing his money wisely and saving for retirement. A veteran who pressures a rookie to spend thousands of dollars on a meal is being a jerk.

Many NFL players go broke shortly after retirement despite making millions of dollars in their 20s. The NFL and the union should work together to encourage players to spend their money wisely, not throw it away on rookie dinners.

97 responses to “Eagles’ Lane Johnson tweets receipt of $17,747 rookie dinner

  1. The last thing I’d worry about is the philly locker room. Kellys running a system that everyone’s buying into. Especially the o line. They’re a unit that sticks together

  2. The NFL isn’t interested in actual financial counseling and preparing players for retirement. If they were serious about it, instruction/good and useful information on the matter would be given at more than the rookie symposium.

    The “rookie dinner” hazing would be considered extortion in any other profession. I note there were no charges filed and no league discipline whatsoever over the fact veterans in Miami were forcing younger players to foot the bill for trips/give them “loans” during the season.

    Financial and investing education is a NFL PR initiative and nothing more.

  3. Carrying pads for a veteran is one thing but to pay 17,000 dollars for a dinner for veterans is outright bullying. This needs to stop. I cringe at the fact that some Americans bring home that yearly income. You know what you could do with that kind of money? You can use that money from your rookie contract on a new car or go on couple family vacations during breaks between ota and training camp or during a bye week.

  4. I follow the eagles quite closely. Guaranteed, this will be the last time that sort of item gets tweeted out/appears on Facebook/instagram, etc. by an eagles player.

  5. It says way more about the people running up the tab than anything else–hazing, bullying, society. Focus should be on the poorly raised flapjacks who participate, because, I can promise you–it’s not the whole team. Even if it was done to them, it’s still sorry and classless. Name the names, name the mothers who failed to raise these clowns any better. Maybe it stops then.

  6. Further proof that what happened in Miami’s locker room is no different from other locker rooms, the only difference is Miami had Jonathan Martin in theirs.

  7. 25 years from now that tweet will be admitted into evidence by NFL attorneys when Johnson is suing the league for concussions while claiming he is broke.

  8. let’s make fun of the rookies for being upset, but lets also bash those guys when they’re broke.

  9. Typical, in America those with the least, pay the most. A pro bowler making millions, walks into the same joint and probably eats free.

    Sometimes tradition is just stupid.

  10. hmmmm,,, this expensive bottle of wine starts with fruity flourish and leaves a lasting flavor of oak and losing at the finish. just like the eagles every single year ever.

  11. connorchew says:
    Jun 7, 2014 10:54 AM
    The last thing I’d worry about is the philly locker room. Kellys running a system that everyone’s buying into. Especially the o line. They’re a unit that sticks together

    Last year was a fluke. We’ll see how you feel about that system come December.

  12. While I don’t like this type of Hazing and frankly think the players going out to dinner and participating should be disciplined, it isn’t the reason that makes many go broke after retirement. Primary cause is the fact that the players are very young and don’t yet appreciate the fact that the money will not keep flowing after the NFL.

    The next CBA should have a requirement that 25% of all contract money paid to any player under 5 years experience be deferred/held in a trust or 401K type of an account. Players over 5 years experience could opt to continue the program. The Team would put the funds into the account and the player would then be able to draw it out after his NFL time was over. Set for life after doing that…….

  13. These rooks just want to be accepted and they will take a vets job so the vet wants to try and derail that so this is what happens. Remember folks, the NFL is 85% meat heads. Not everybody went to Stanford. Seattle has class guys with brains running the lockeroom so this is not happening here. Chip is a fad. Go Hawks!

  14. Just think if they put all that money into a stock or mutual fund and cash it out when the last person in their team’s draft class is out of the NFL. They can debate over which companies to choose while grilling and drinking 100 dollar wine if they want to go fancy.

  15. Knowing that everyone is watching for rookie hazing, the Veterans have an opportunity to break new ground and earn some brownie points with the rookies, their coaches and the city/community…if the rookies have $20-$50k burning a hole in their pockets have them buy dinner or donate the money for a local charity instead. I’m sure a local homeless shelter, Habitat for Humanity or a woman’s shelter could get more out of what was spent on dinner for these veteran players.

  16. Who needs to save money? They’ve got frivolous concussion lawsuits to fall back on in the future.

  17. With all your comments here I fell like we live in a communist country. If these idiots want to spent 9 grand on 3 wine bottles let them go broke, it is there right. They shouldn’t be forced to hold money back why do we care if they are broke 5 years after football, they are paid to play football for Christ sake, who wouldn’t give their left arm to have that as a life job. If they blow all of the money they make who knows maybe they will have to get a job that isn’t all fun, lesson learned. We root for the laundry not the players anymore those days are dead. When they show they care about the fans then maybe I will care if they are broke when their careers are over.

  18. You can use that money from your rookie contract on a new car…
    You must not have bought a new car recently.

  19. Lane got out lightly compared to other rookies. Commissioner Goodell talks a good game about stamping out hazing and bullying but he’s noticably silent about this form of extortion.
    He seems to enjoy being photographed hugging every rookie on Draft Day but is he prepared to touch this? A rite of passage or basic exploitation?

  20. BTW – as wine goes, that’s not that expensive. Order some Screaming Eagle (which also would have been more appropriate) and then get back to me.

  21. Really??!! These guys get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to PLAY A GAME. That 17k tab is the equivalent someone else taking office out and paying 5oo bux. This is ridiculous to try and turn these alpha males into everyday people and equate their lives to ordinary people. I’m sure the players paying these huge tabs can afford it. People need to quit trying to make violent, rough people into these “pc models” that fit into their world, its just not the world they live in. Its like trying to take that white collar office manager and put him outside working construction, 90% of the time he just wont make it. Get a touch of reality, this business of rookies taking vets out for a overpriced meal is no big deal.

  22. if they were going to get serious the union could stretch the income over the whole year from the contracts.
    You could also get a little big brotherish and make these guys buy a small house from whatever hillrod town they came from so when they inevitably go broke…which is their right to do…they can return to their hometown and be the biggest buffest high school running backs coach of all time but at least have a paid off house.

  23. So why do you guys always blame the NFL? Isn’t this the responsibility of the union? Lane should go to his union rep to file a grievance against his fellow employee for harassment or whatever.

  24. I would rather see “hazing” of rookies in ways like this than being taped to a field goal post and ice water being dumped on them or worse, as reports have been. It’s not like it’s a financial burden on the player. It may look like a lot of money to us but for them it’s a drop in the bucket. It’s no different than a bunch of cops making a rookie cop pay for lunch during a shift. It just so happens there’s A CRAP TON more money involved. If this player didn’t want to pay, he could’ve just said no.

  25. Seriously, we’re talking about a $19 million dollar contract, with a $12.8 million signing bonus over 4 years. Maybe we let millionaires police millionaires on this one. I can’t really relate.

    I’ll try. My employer gives me $100,000 signing bonus (not) and coworkers stuck me with the proportionate $140 dinner bill… Yeah, I’m not feeling sorry for myself yet.

    Maybe you’re never the same after a $3,500 bottle of wine. It’s probably a gateway drug to $3,500 table dances, and really expensive shots you’ve never heard of. I would like to relate. I really would.

  26. mp4philly says:
    Jun 7, 2014 12:03 PM
    No way the average American takes home $3,500.00 a month.


    The average American salary is currently around $45k. $3,500 a month comes out to $42k a year, so it’s pretty close.

  27. $4.00 for a Coke? Good Grief. For a 4 dollar coke, the waitresses better be table dancing.

  28. I agree with everything MDS says in this post. These dinners are predatory behavior, textbook definition. It absolutely sickens me. The veterans should be ashamed.

  29. I have to agree with MDS on this one. Rookie hazing is one thing. Peer pressure to blow $4k on a bottle of wine is just out of line.

  30. Lane Johnson paid for the dinner.. He took his line out.. if you read connecting tweets you’ll see fellow linemen thanking him.. I think the rookie dinner was a joke.

  31. mp4philly says:
    Jun 7, 2014 12:03 PM
    No way the average American takes home $3,500.00 a month.


    The average American salary is currently around $45k. $3,500 a month comes out to $42k a year, so it’s pretty close.
    ====================================The average American salary is gross, not take home.

  32. .

    The 7th round pick of the Patriots signed a contract which calls for 47,000 in guaranteed money.

    Why should this guy be paying for the likes of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski?

    Some smart lawyer is going to use this “extortion” as a predicate crime in a Rico case against the NFL. Since the practice is well known, and hence approved by the NFL, the foundation is laid.


  33. Very well said Mr. Smith!!! I personally do not understand it?!?!? If that where me!! I would tell them to Pay for your own “Bleepin” Dinner!! And if you don’t like it!! Don’t eat with me!! You would think he would careless if it were ” shady” or a practice Squad Halfback!!!

  34. Please – a top rookie deal is 2,500,000 a year. That’s 208,333.33 per month for 12 months. 17,000 is 8% of the monthly income. That’d be equal to someone making $4,000 a month and buying a $320 meal for friends. It’s far from rediculous hazing! Do the math

  35. More predatory of the restaurant than anything. The 55K on was off the hook, you know the owner is buzzing around the kitchen just giddy as can be.

    I wish my employer would help me spend my money wisely. They just cut me a check every 2 weeks.

  36. If I was Lane Johnson, I’d tell his teammates that they’re going to wash dishes at the restaurant for the next year and a half, at 40 hours per week, so they can know what it’s like to earn what the rest of us make, working so hard, making so little.
    They’re conceited.

  37. But DJax was bad for the room right? Ridiculous childish behavior. Grown men not yet realizing their contracts consist of Monopoly money in the long haul.

  38. Ok.. he’s not a rookie guys he was the 4th overall pick last year.. If he decides to take his teammates out there’s nothing wrong with that.. the rookie dinner tweet was a joke.

  39. This isn’t even close to a big deal or anything, but at the same time there really is no benefit to Lane Johnson or the Eagles by this kid drawing attention to this. Moving forward, taking a stance of avoiding any and all distractions would benefit the team a whole lot more than pulling out year-old restaurant tabs.

  40. This is NOT new…

    NOT the first time…

    Been happening for years…

    NFL KNOWS about it and doesn’t care as they’ve had YEARS to address it, if they WANTED to…

    Old Roger doesn’t want to have to stop forcing the interns to buy him Ruth’s Chris steaks for lunch on Friday’s at the office…

    Cause the $44 MILLION he made just last yr doesn’t go very far you know…

  41. You can’t expect them to live like normal wage people. Just like you won’t see tom cruise driving a Camry. Or eating at red lobster.

    We can understand this because we don’t have 30k dinner bills. But of your there for hours with a group. Drinking alcohol then bills tend to rise.

    It’s typical in most jobs that the new guy pays first time out. It’s called humbling the new guy to the group. So they know that it’s a group not individuals

  42. 17k for a handful of guys to go out to eat, who all happen to be very large and of above average wealth?

    Seems normal to me.

    Louis XIII and Voss just happen to be a little pricey.

  43. Yes, blame the Vets and everybody else, because you know, he doesn’t understand the meaning of “No” to use it properly in a sentence. EVERYTHING is bullying nowadays. It’s become a cop-out. Apparently the world should just get together, hold hands across all continents, and sing “Kumbaya”. Here’s a plot twist, I was “bullied” in middle school, but instead of running around crying to everybody, I took it, owned it, and stood up for myself. Those “bullies” are now some of my best friends. Social networking has ruined everything. Instead of getting out and expanding ones horizons, they are just fixated on finding people with common interests. Oh no, he picked on my glasses, somebody call the police! It is really sad.

  44. Don’t forget – the Dolphins are the ONLY team on which this type of stuff happened. They lack leadership, their coach is in over his head, blah, blah, blah. As time goes by it is more and evident how much of a joke the whole “Bullygate” situation was – an overblown waste of time.

  45. Hope some of the guys enjoyed the incredible wine they had, as opposed to just picking the bottle based on wanting to get the most expensive thing on the list 🙁

  46. Lane is not a rookie. He took the rookies and his o-line out, not hazing but being a generous team mate. Didn’t Nick Foles buy the O-line xboxes? how come the assumption then was that he was being hazed by the mean ol’ veterans. Read Conner Barwin’s post about the locker room culture, it will give you a idea about what kind of culture Chip Kelley has with the Eagles. Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t Dez Bryant refuse to carry Roy Williams pads during camp? and then they made him pay for dinner after he refused to do what every rookie does, even Tebow shaved his head like Fryar Tuck.

  47. This is juvenile and stupid, but I don’t see why the NFL needs to step in. If anyone should step in, it’s the NFLPA – the organization that’s supposed to represent the player’s interests.

    But I really fail to see why anyone needs to intervene. These are grown men. No amount of peer pressure would force me to pay for a dinner. If they don’t want to pay for these dinners…then don’t pay for them. This isn’t complicated. If your teammates tell you that you’re buying dinner, tell them no. If they leave without paying anyway, then you pay for your portion and leave. When the cops show up at the other players’ houses and/or practice the next day, this nonsense will stop pretty quickly.

  48. There’s a huge difference between “Hey rookie, carry my gear for me” and “Hey rookie, buy me a several thousand dollar bottle of wine”.

    Maybe if the veterans were classier guys and mentors, they would be the ones buying things for rookies and saying “Hey, don’t waste all your money right away, but I got a big contract, so I can afford this” or something.

    Or, better yet, give each player the tools they need to not piss all their money away in 5 years, and let them manage it themselves, and nobody should “have” to buy anything for anyone.

  49. Ok, well I’m sure they only did it to him once and I bet the rest of the rookies helped out as well. It’s not like the vets are forcing them to spend their whole contract on dinners. 18k is barely anything to these guys as long as its not a recurring thing.

  50. I’m willing to bet most of those players don’t even like wine, appreciate wine, or can even tell the difference between a $10 wine and $50 wine, let alone one that costs thousands. That’s just obscene. Waste of money and good wine.

  51. The average American does NOT take home $42000 per year, for those who think so, you need to study mathematics:
    If one person out of 100 makes $1,000,000, and the “average” salary is $42,000, that means that 99 are making $32,300. What do you think all those business executives with their $30,000,000+ salaries per year or those nfl owners with their $60,000,000+ per year salaries do to the alleged $42,000/year “average” salary??

  52. I sure hope that rooking who shelled out the $17k for dinner doesn’t blow out his ACL in training camp. Then it will all have been for nothing. Seriously though, the average person can’t even relate to this sort of thing. No wonder they call it “fantasy” football.

  53. Jimmy Kempski
    Posted: Saturday, June 7, 2014, 12:53 PM

    The Eagles did some eating (and drinking) at Del Frisco’s last night. In fact, they racked up $17,747.86 bill. Second year right tackle Lane Johnson tweeted out the check.

    Here is the final itemized bill, so you don’t have to strain your eyes. Also, according to the bill, there were 15 people at dinner, so someone skipped out on the $225/oz. Remy Martin…

    Qty. Item Cost
    14 Remy Martin Louis XIII, 1 oz $3,150
    1 Crown Royal $12
    1 Crown Royal, Black $15
    27 Voss still water $187.55
    1 Hess Cabernet $25
    2 Harlan Estate Cabernet, 2006 $2,990
    2 Seafood Plateau for 4 $303
    1 Seafood Plateau for 2 $78.50
    5 Calamari Shanghai $67.50
    3 Cheesesteak Dumplings $49.50
    2 Tuna Tartare $34
    2 Steak Tartare $32
    1 Shafer Cabernet Hillside Select, 2009 $2,650
    1 Strip, 16 oz $47
    1 Strip, 26 oz Double Eagle $67
    5 Ribeye, 32 oz Long Bone $445
    1 Porterhouse, 24 oz $58
    2 Filet, 8 oz $79
    1 Carmelized Onions $3
    1 Sauteed Muchrooms $3
    1 Ribeye, 16 oz $47
    1 Filet, 16 oz, Bone In $66
    1 Mushrooms Sauteed $10
    1 Spinach Supreme $12
    1 Potato Chateau $11
    2 Potato Au Gratin $25
    2 Mac and Cheese w/Lobster $37
    2 Vegetable #1 $22
    2 Asparagus $25
    1 Creamed Corn $10
    2 Onion Rings $21
    2 King Crab Gnocchi $35
    3 Yards Brawler Ale $18
    4 Bud Light $22
    5 Gingerale $20
    7 Coca Cola $28
    2 Coors Light $11
    4 Maker’s Mark $52
    5 Remy Martin XIII 2 oz $1,375
    5 Chocolate Souffle Cake $50
    2 Cheesecake $22
    1 Screaming Eagle Cabernet, 2005 $3,495
    1 Banana Bread Pudding $10

    Sub Total $15,740.15
    Auto Gratuity $472.20
    Tax $1,535.51
    Total $17,747.86

    Multiple news outlets are chalking the dinner up to rookie hazing without bothering to get any context. According to someone in attendance, Johnson picked up at least a portion of the check. Johnson is not a rookie, and frankly, “rookie dinner” can mean anything. For all anyone knows, it could have been the vets treating the rookies to dinner, and not the other way around. But why bother trying to get details?

    Also… Who downed five ginger ales?

  54. The haircuts and all the other stupid stuff should go along with this.

    I’ve come to learn it’s really stupid to abuse someone because they’re a year or two younger than you are.

    Mike Golic can shove it. He’s for every other PC issue but not this one because he took part in it himself.

  55. Bottom line in all of this… The player who footed the bill CAN AFFORD IT! Stop with trying to rationalize this with “But Average Americans Blah, Blah Blah…” Average Americans are lazy, myself included. Nothing is holding any of us back from making large sums of money but ourselves. These guys went out, trained hard, and EARNED the right to spend lavish amounts of money frivolously. I’m sure if this article was about Johnson giving $17k to random middle class families, nobody would be complaining, except for the “Why not me?” crowd. Oh wait, he dined in an establishment where people work, and get paid to serve, and tipped to serve well. So, in reality, he just made the nights of everybody from the owner, to the bus boy throwing out the trash. You know what, Mr. Lane Johnson and Co., I hope you read this article and all of the comments, because clearly they think this is wrong, maybe you should drop 10’s of Thousands on drugs or strippers, then we would all be happy. Seriously people, ya’ll need a life.

  56. This is just dumb. It’s not hazing when a dinner meeting is pre-arranged, and a guy willfully shows up and pays the tab. Yeah…it’s stupid, but it’s not hazing. Stop this nonsense.

  57. This happened to me once. I was in college. I was on a weekly date with my girlfriend. We ate some chicken for dinner and I had $14.25 left to eat for the rest of the week. Then she ordered dessert. Apple pie. My bill might as well have been $55,000. It took me 10 years of marriage before I told her of the “apple pie” diet I was on.

  58. Right of passage. Just picking up one large bill one time for your teammates. Nobody gets hurt here folks.

  59. This was a ‘ROOKIE DINNER’, not bets taking advantage of rookies. There could have been 18-22 guys at that dinner. Keep things in perspective. Christ.

  60. It’s just a waste of money regardless of who paid. Drink a 100 dollar bottle of wine. It’s still high end. I highly doubt they could tell the difference as not many people could.

  61. I dont think you can “ban” this tradition but its certainly possible to send guidelines. If that 18K bill was split between a couple guys I think its alright, everyone had a good time and a good meal.

    In Dez case I agree with him it was abusive. Just use good old common sense. Veterans and NFLPA representatives in each teams are there for this stuff.

    Stop dreaming about this ideal world where everyones farts smell good. Guys will be guys end of the story.

  62. Theses guys are absolute idiots.

    Anyone with one foot in the ghetto should save every nickel they earn. The fact is, most NFL players last less than 3 years and earn less than $800,000.00 during those three years.

    What will they do for income over the next 40 or so years of their working life?

    What a bunch of idiots. I’m so sick of hearing about these nitwits. I haven’t spent a nickel on the NFL in years, nor do I plan to.

  63. The CLASSIC…. this would never happen in a Bill Belichick locker room!!! It’s the PATRIOT WAY! Yet they had Aaron Hernandez……. a suspected murderer!!! Jonathan Martin was a muffin that couldn’t handle scrutiny for his pathetic play on the field…so he sold out his teammates…end of story!! This happens in every locker room!

  64. The reason why a $17,000 dinner is a big deal is because it sets a very dangerous precedent. Instead of learning to be responsible with their money from the outset they are being taught to throw their money around like they’re business cards or cigars right after their wife just had a baby. And as a member of the middle class I find it totally offensive that anyone would squander money like that. Use at least a little bit of your new-found wealth to help those less fortunate. We already know that the people who own and run the NFL couldn’t care less about anyone other than themselves, it would be nice if that’s not true of the players as well.

  65. I’ve been to Del Friscos twice. It is one of the the top restaurants in Philly, deservedly so. I had the porterhouse,$54 for just the steak (worth every cent). Everything is ale carte so it is not hard to run up a huge tab, especially with so many huge men. No vets made a rookie pay the tab. It was a team outing.

  66. I could care less about the $17k bill. Kid can afford it, not the end of the world.

    Wonder when he leaves the team and consults a psychiatrist? Oh wait, sorry, looks like Johnson is a man and can handle it, same with Dez…

  67. With all your comments here I fell like we live in a communist country. If these idiots want to spent 9 grand on 3 wine bottles let them go broke, it is there right. They shouldn’t be forced to hold money back why do we care if they are broke 5 years after football, they are paid to play football for Christ sake, who wouldn’t give their left arm to have that as a life job. If they blow all of the money they make who knows maybe they will have to get a job that isn’t all fun, lesson learned. We root for the laundry not the players anymore those days are dead. When they show they care about the fans then maybe I will care if they are broke when their careers are over.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.