What Does Lane Johnson’s Suspension Mean For The Eagles?BREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
Philadelphia Daily News writer, Paul Domowitch, was the first to report of Johnson’s suspension for testing positive for PEDs, but an NFL spokesman hasn’t confirmed the suspension from the league as of yet.
Last year, the Eagles’ offensive line was the only group of 5 players that managed to stay on the field for all 16 games. With Johnson out of the lineup, Allen Barbre is the most likely replacement. Barbre signed a three year extension in May and is versatile at both the guard and tackle positions. Other possible options at right tackle also include Dennis Kelly, who filled in during the injury-plagued 2012 season, and Matt Tobin.
What does this mean for the Eagles’ offense?
Well it all starts with the offensive line. The absence of Lane Johnson may not be impactful up until week 3 against the Redskins’ Ryan Kerrigan (8.5 sacks in 2013) and week 4 against the 49ers’ Ahmad Brooks (8.5 sacks in 2013). This offensive line, whether its Barbre or Kelly at right tackle, needs to be able to protect Nick Foles in the pocket, and give him enough time. How will this also impact LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles?
DeSean Jackson is gone now. The Eagles signed Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin; drafted Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff. Zac Ertz will look to make an even bigger impact down the field; maybe even asked to block more, much like Brent Celek did in 2012 when the offensive line was decimated. In addition, Arrelious Benn (torn ACL in 2013) and Ifeanyi Momao will be returning to training camp to try to make the roster.
What does this mean for Lane Johnson?
For Lane Johnson, it will cost him $116,470, which is four game checks, or 4/17ths of his $495,000 base salary for 2014, according to CSN’s Reuben Frank. He would not be eligible to return to the Eagles on September 29th. But also as the starting right tackle of the team, and the 4th overall pick in 2013, he’s a guy the team was leaning on to push them over the top. It’s not the same as LB Jake Knott, who was also suspended for the first 4 games and is a reserve player and special teamer.
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