The Philadelphia Eagles’ lackluster offense might be suffering a huge blow if offensive tackle Lane Johnson has to serve a 10-game PED suspension.
According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson could incur a 10-game suspension for violating the league’s PED policy.
The Eagles drafted Johnson with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft out of the University of Oklahoma. Since joining the Eagles, Johnson — whom many believed was destined to be the team’s left tackle of the future — has played in and started 44 games on offensive line.
Per Jay Glazer, Johnson is claiming he took an accepted amino acid, and will, in fact, appeal the suspension.
It’s understandable that Johnson would do everything in his power to fight the ruling. Missing 63 percent of the regular season is a huge deal, after all. Moreover, given that this would be Johnson’s second PED offense, the suspension would severely jeopardize Johnson’s future earning potential.
Specifically, Johnson would stand to forfeit all of the $35 million guaranteed from the extension he signed this past January. While Johnson could theoretically still earn the money, it would also be easier for the Eagles to release him without any substantial cap hit.
Coupled with the loss of Jason Peters, the Eagles desperately needed a healthy and engaged Johnson to maintain some semblance of continuity on the line.
Philadelphia is likely headed for a rough year in 2016 under first-year skipper Doug Pederson, the onetime assistant to Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid whom many expect to run an ultra-conservative offense in the early going.
With a quarterback depth chart featuring the oft-injured Sam Bradford, unproven backup Chase Daniel, and a long-term project in No. 2 overall pick Carson Wentz out of North Dakota State University, the Eagles are going to have trouble putting points on the board — particularly given the ever-thinning offensive line.
In order to hold their own and play respectable ball in the NFC East in 2016, the Eagles will have to rely on defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz to get the most of his personnel.
Losing Johnson for any extended part of the season is going to be devastating to the Eagles offense. Philly isn’t likely to find its quarterback of the future any time soon, and if Johnson isn’t able to win his appeal with the league, that timeline could wind up being pushed out even farther.