Every year when the first round of the NFL Draft finishes, the world has a new addition of 32 millionaires who are ending their college years, some to never graduate. These kids will be handed more money than most people earn in a lifetime to play a sport for an average career of three seasons. Not all first round picks will last or be a success in the league. Another post-draft tradition is the first round holdout. The players wait as long as possible to sign their contracts, most suffering in their development and chemistry with their new teams. Lane Johnson is nearing this point and he needs to get his deal done.
Birds 24/7 reports that the debate is about offset language in the contract and quotes an interview:
“I think it will be resolved, especially in the next week or two,” said Johnson. “I don’t want to hold out. I want to be there with the guys. I want to be with the team and I think something will happen in the next week or so.”
You know that the Philadelphia Eagles are happy with the quote and that the rookie is saying the right things. The problem is Johnson’s background. He is not an experienced lineman, only having two years of experience after playing quarterback and tight end in college (as a side note, one report had a play in Eagles’ practice with Johnson lining up as a slot receiver; Chip Kelly must be dreaming about the possibilities).
Johnson needs to be there when camp opens. He needs time with his partners on the line and new coach Jeff Stoutland. We know he has a massive amount of athletic ability and a high ceiling, but he cannot afford to miss time due to a holdout. If he wants to reach his potential, he will sign the contract and put actions behind his words. The team needs a stud lineman for the future and Johnson can certainly fit the bill.