Lane Johnson: ‘I Want To Be Here the Rest Of My Career’
In 2008, Lane Johnson was playing quarterback at Kilgore College. In 2010, he was working at tight end and then defensive line for Oklahoma. This time three years ago, he was considered a raw projection pick. And now, he’s the fourth-highest paid tackle in the NFL.
“It’s sinking in now,” said Johnson after signing a five-year contract extension Friday. “I’m very fortunate to be drafted to a great place where I was able to develop and get better every year, and have the right coaches help me with that…I’m fortunate where I’m at and owe a lot of thanks to the people that have helped me along the way.”
Johnson’s new deal contains $35.5 million in guarantees (including a $10 million signing bonus) and is worth up to $63-plus million. The 25-year old believes the Eagles drafted him to eventually play left tackle and feels the contract accounts for that. But there is no rush. Signs are pointing to Jason Peters being back with the club in 2016, which seems to be just fine by Johnson.
“Jason Peters is probably the best tackle of all time, one of them — him and Walter Jones in my opinion. Having him here, he’s taught me so much and I’m just going to continue to [learn from him] until that time comes,” said Johnson, who recently visited Peters in Dallas.
“We have a good relationship. Jason is my friend. He knows what the deal is. I think whenever he’s healthy, I still think he’s probably [one of] the best if not the best tackle in the league. Moving forward, all those decisions will be made. But for right now, he’s good where he’s at.”
For the Eagles, the early portion of the offseason has been dedicated to striking multi-year deals with those that they view as core players. First it was Zach Ertz, then Brent Celek (who was first up at the podium Friday). And now, the former No. 4 overall pick, with more likely to come.
“The Eagles were aggressive and they came strong,” said Johnson’s agent, Ken Sarnoff. “He’s been compensated as a top offensive tackle in the league. We’re good. The contract is strong.”
“That’s kind of the style here, we like to get stuff done early and get locked in,” added Johnson. “I was happy when the deal came along. It’s obviously something that you don’t want to pass up. I want to be here the rest of my career. I got a lot of guys in this locker room that are like my brothers, like family to me. It’s where I want to be.”