The Eagles were able to get off to a 3-1 start before they lost Lane Johnson to his impending 10-game PED suspension. The right tackle will leave the NovaCare complex today and won't be allowed to return until Week 16, as the Eagles prepare to face the Giants on Thursday Night Football.
The news came Tuesday morning, and not surprisingly the Eagles were not happy.
“We’re very disappointed that Lane Johnson has been suspended 10 games," Howie Roseman said, via a statement sent to the media. "His actions have affected the entire organization. We are all working under a clearly-defined set of rules and regulations set forth by the NFL in the collective bargaining agreement with the NFLPA. Moving forward, he has no choice but to hold himself accountable to Jeffrey Lurie, Coach Pederson and his staff, his teammates, and to the entire organization and our fans. When he returns from suspension, we will continue to support him and welcome him back to the team. We are moving on with our preparations for this week’s game in Washington.”
Johnson is not happy either. Not only is he costing the Eagles arguably their best offensive lineman prior to a stretch of games that will see seven opponents in a row with a combined 24-7 record, he's also costing himself money. A lot of it.
According to NFL.com and NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, Johnson will lose just around $4.75 million during his suspension, including 58 percent of his base salary and signing bonuses. That's a lot of coin.
Johnson signed a five-year, $56 million deal last year and could also lose up to $35 million if he is released from the team. But, inferring from the Eagles' statement it sounds like the team is going to stick with Johnson.
Rookie Halapoulivaati Vaitai is the top candidate to start in Johnson's absence, with Allen Barbre remaining at right guard. Many speculated he would move to tackle.