Two years ago, he was labeled a bust. Now, he seems to be the right tackle of the future.
The Eagles signed Winston Justice to a four-year contract extension Tuesday, keeping him in midnight green until 2013.
Justice, who could have filed for free agency after this season, will reportedly earn $18.15 million, with a $6 million signing bonus. Even a novice accountant would deem that starter’s money, right?
“I don’t know, I think so, I trust my agent did a good job. But again, I really don’t play for money,” Justice said. “I don’t play for the next contract, I just play to glorify God and I just go out there and I enjoy playing.”
When the season started, Justice was penciled in as Shawn Andrews’ backup at right tackle. But Andrews, placed on injured reserve on Sept. 15, has struggled with an ailing back for the past two seasons. Many believe the Eagles will cut ties with Andrews in the offseason. While Eagles general manager Tom Heckert called Andrews’ situation “irrelevant,” Justice’s new deal seems to indicate the team is ready to proceed without the oft-injured — and sometimes depressed — offensive lineman.
“I know everybody talks about the Giants game, but we see him every day in practice,” Heckert said of Justice. “He had to come out and, if he got the opportunity to play, he had to prove that he could do it and line up against the top guys and be productive, and he’s done that this year.”