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Going back in time: Philadelphia Eagles sign young players early

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By Anthony Caruso III

The Philadelphia Eagles have been busy this week with signing players to extensions. It began with tight ends Zach Ertz and Brent Celek before Lane Johnson earlier today.

With Johnson, they go back to the Andy Reid tenure, where they locked up young players early. And that’s exactly what they’ve done with Ertz and Johnson.

By striking a deal earlier, it happened to give them below market contracts when they would have been a free agent. While most of the contracts worked out, one didn’t as Shawn Andrews was signed through the 2015 season when he hasn’t been with the team in years.

Zach Ertz (Getty Images)

Zach Ertz (Getty Images)

Johnson was the team’s first round pick in 2013 NFL Draft — the first under former head coach Chip Kelly — and was eligible for an extension after the 2015 season ended. He had one-year left under his rookie contract; however, with this extension, he’ll now be signed through the 2021 season.

Whether he’ll be with the team through that time, only time will tell. His new contract will reportedly pay him $63 million with $35.5 million guaranteed.

When players sign contracts early, it’s always the case that they can pull a Kam Chancellor, who said he was under paid than held out and continued to lose money. The Seattle Seahawks safety — who is the latest player to claim they were underpaid — fired his agent and admitted that he made a mistake after re-thinking everything later on.

When the Eagles did this same thing under Reid, they always had a lot of money under the salary cap. With tackles continue to get paid as the salary cap increases, he may want to re-think this deal and ask the team for a new extension.

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