His greatness is not even a little bit of a question. Lane Johnson has proven in his 10 seasons as an Eagle there has been nobody better than him at dominating the right side of the line of scrimmage. The only question, maybe, has been: How long will Johnson play a position that is so physically and mentally demanding?
"My whole goal is to retire an Eagle," Johnson said on Friday after signing a new contract with the Eagles. "That's what I'm going to do. I'm just excited to be here, be as fortunate as I am to be with one team for as long as I have. I love this game and, more importantly, I love the people and the coaches that I'm with every day and that's why I love the game so much."
A first-round draft pick in 2013 – the fourth selection overall – Johnson has had a Hall of Fame career. He's been named an Associated Press All-Pro player three times (2017, 2021, 2022) and has four times been selected as a Pro Bowl player (2018, 2019, 2020, 2023) and those honors only speak to a portion of what Johnson has meant to the Eagles.
In his 127 regular season games played, Johnson has helped the Eagles compile a 79-47-1 record. The Eagles' record when Johnson has been sidelined: 13-22.
"There's not a better feeling than being here in such a storied city," Johnson said. "You can really feel it whenever you go out in the city how much they love their players and love football."
His importance was evident, again, in the 2022 season. Johnson battled a torn adductor injury late in the season that eventually sidelined him for two games, but he pushed the pause button on surgery and returned to the lineup for the postseason, and the Eagles' offense thrived. Head Coach Nick Sirianni called Johnson "the best tackle in the game," and teammates marveled at his toughness and team-first approach as the Eagles advanced to Super Bowl LVII.
"It was really a no-question thing for me. I felt like with the ability that our team had, the talent, I had an opportunity to play and as it progressed I wasn't in as much pain as I was initially. I would do it all over again 1,000 times," said Johnson, who added that his post-surgery rehab is ahead of schedule and that he's "feeling really good."
It certainly wasn't the first time that Johnson was lauded for his importance to the team and for the way he sacrificed for the good of the Philadelphia Eagles. A quarterback early in his collegiate career, Johnson has been a unicorn at the right tackle position with his unique blend of power, athletic ability, and an off-the-charts football IQ.
Run Game Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach Jeff Stoutland raves about Johnson every chance he has to talk about him.
"This is a special, special man," Stoutland said of Johnson during the 2022 season. "You don't see people with the athletic ability that he has. He's really fast, really quick, great change of direction, really long. I don't know if you realize how long he is. I remember when we worked him out (prior to the 2013 Draft). I went down to Texas to his high school, and his high school coach set me up there. He was doing a 'V-stretch,' and he was sitting on the ground. I was standing about where you are (about 3 feet away), and he stuck his arms out, and he reached to the chair. And he got on the bag drills, and when you watch him do the bag, his feet are so fast. He's really like a skill player playing offensive line. And he's physical, really a unique guy."
And now he's signed, the Eagles extend continuity along the offensive line. Left tackle Jordan Mailata is signed through 2025, left guard Landon Dickerson is signed through 2024, center Jason Kelce is signed for the 2023 season, and 2022 second-round draft pick Cam Jurgens is signed through 2025.
"It's all about reloading, but at the same time, you got to remember what you did last season didn't finish with the end goal like we wanted, but still an amazing season," Johnson said. "Did a lot of things, thought a lot of improvement was made as far as the offensive line and just the offense in general. So ready to reload this season, get new guys in, make them part of the family, and get this thing rolling again."
The Eagles know there is always work to do along the offensive line, an area it treasures and wants to keep among the NFL's elite, but Johnson's new deal was clearly an important priority for this offseason.