Source: Eagles RT Lane Johnson tests positive for PEDs

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Source: Eagles RT Lane Johnson tests positive for PEDs

Lane Johnson, who started all 17 games for the Eagles at right tackle last year as a rookie first-round pick, will miss the first four games of the 2014 season thanks to a four-game NFL suspension for a positive PED test, a league source confirmed Monday afternoon to CSNPhilly.com Eagles Insider Geoff Mosher.

The news was first reported by Paul Domowitch of The Philadelphia Daily News.

According to the NFL collective bargaining agreement, a first positive test for performance-enhancing drugs is a four-game suspension. 

Johnson will be able to participate in training camp, which opens late next month, and he will be allowed to participate in preseason games.

The suspension will cost Johnson $116,470, which is four game checks, or 4/17ths of his $495,000 base salary for 2014. 

The NFL has not announced Johnson’s suspension. An Eagles spokesman said the club had no comment on the report. An NFL spokesman did not immediately return messages.

With Johnson unavailable, the Eagles could use Dennis Kelly, Allen Barbre or Matt Tobin to open the season at right tackle. Barbre, who recently signed a contract extension, is a versatile lineman who can play guard or tackle. Kelly started seven games at right tackle in 2012. Tobin is a highly regarded young backup tackle.

The Eagles' first four games are against the Jaguars, Colts, Redskins and 49ers. Johnson would be eligible to return to the team on Sept. 29, the day after the Eagles face the 49ers. 

Johnson is the second Eagle this year and believed to be the sixth Eagle ever suspended for violating the NFL's drug policy. Linebacker Jake Knott learned early in the offseason he also would be suspended for the first four games of 2014. But Knott, unlike Johnson, is a fringe player, a reserve linebacker and special teamer. Johnson is one of the key figures on an offensive line that helped the Eagles rack up the 11th-most yards in NFL history last year.

He's the most prominent Eagle suspended by the NFL since 1994 first-round pick Bernard Williams, who was an all-rookie offensive tackle in 1994 but was suspended for six games for a positive marijuana test before the 1995 season and was then suspended again and never reinstated. 

 

Forever linked to Reggie White, Derek Barnett wants to create own identity

Forever linked to Reggie White, Derek Barnett wants to create own identity

Derek Barnett was 4 years old when Reggie White played in his final NFL game.

Nonetheless, the two are inexorably linked. And probably always will be.

Barnett broke White's University of Tennessee career sack record this past winter, and on Thursday — 25 years after White played his final game in an Eagles uniform — Barnett joined the team White spent his first eight NFL seasons with.

Barnett said Friday he's actually been in contact with White's widow, Sara, who contacted him after he broke Reggie's Volunteers sack record in the Music City Bowl against Nebraska in Nashville this past Dec. 30.

"She gave me a phone call about a week after the bowl game after I broke the record," Barnett said. "She just congratulated me on everything I've accomplished.

"Even though I broke the record, I told her, 'Reggie's still Reggie. I don't think I'm better than Reggie.' I told her thank you a lot and I really appreciated it.

"It meant a lot. She went out of her way. She didn't have to call me, but I'm glad she did."

Barnett recorded 33 sacks in his college career. White had 32.

Now, let's be realistic. Barnett is not White. Nobody is. White recorded 124 sacks in 121 games as an Eagle — more than one per game.

Add in his six years with the Packers and final season with the Panthers, and White had 198 sacks in his career. That stood as the NFL record until Bruce Smith finished with 200. White still ranks second all-time.

White, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006, his first year of eligibility, died the day after Christmas in 2004.

It was Sara White who spoke for White at his Hall of Fame induction in Canton, Ohio, and Barnett said he can't wait to meet her in person.

"She lives in Nashville, so when I get the chance, I will go over there and meet with them," Barnett said. "But Reggie White, in Knoxville, is a legend. He's all over the place in the state of Tennessee."

Since White left Philly for Green Bay, the Eagles have drafted exactly one defensive end who's ever had double-digit sacks in a season. That was Trent Cole, a fifth-round pick in 2005.

One guy in a quarter of a century.

Barnett said he actually watched old film of White while he was in college to try and learn from his arsenal of pass-rush moves.

"I watched tape of him at Tennessee because I was trying to put the hump move in my game," Barnett said. "As a pass rusher, I feel like everyone has their own moves and I think that move is for him, probably not for me."

None of this is really fair to Barnett, who found himself being compared to maybe the greatest defensive player in NFL history before his NFL career was 24 hours old.

In an open letter to NFL teams published in the Players' Tribune this week, Barnett said he's proud he broke White's record but ultimately wants to be known for more.

"You might know me as the kid who broke Reggie White's sack record at Tennessee, but that's not the only thing I'm going to be remembered for by the time I leave this game," he wrote.

"Achieving that sack record definitely meant a lot to me, but I would have traded it away in a heartbeat to have won a championship while I was in college."

NFL draft Day 2 updates: Another corner off the board

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NFL draft Day 2 updates: Another corner off the board

The Latest on the NFL draft (all times Eastern):

Latest picks from the NFL draft:

No. 33 Green Bay (from Cleveland)

Kevin King, CB, 6-3, 203, Washington

One of the tallest corners in the draft. Big question is top-end speed.

No. 34 Jacksonville (from Seattle through San Francisco)

Cam Robinson, OT, 6-6, 322, Alabama

The All-American has all the measurable. Needs more consistent footwork.

No. 35 Seattle (from Jacksonville)

Malik McDowell, DT, 6-6, 295, Michigan State

Inconsistent play and some injuries as a junior kept him out of the first round. Freaky athlete.

No. 36 Arizona (from Chicago)

Budda Baker, S, 5-10, 195, Washington

Baker goes to the team that has the player he is most often compared: Tyrann Mathieu.

No. 37 Buffalo (Los Angeles Rams)

Zay Jones, WR, 6-2, 201, East Carolina

Jones led the nation in catches with a record 158 last season. Yes, 158.

7:15 p.m.

The Green Bay Packers opened the second round of the NFL draft by selecting Washington cornerback Kevin King.

Green Bay traded out of the first round, so King, a 6-3 former safety, was its first addition in this draft. The Packers owned the 29th pick, which they sent to Cleveland on Thursday night.

Just before Friday's selection, Commissioner Roger Goodell and former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski thanked Philadelphia and the fans. Folks in the theater even booed Goodell's tribute, but not when "Jaws" repeated it.

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6:45 p.m.

Cardinals first-round draft pick Haason Reddick arrived in Arizona Friday and gushed about his new NFL home.

He praised the welcoming fans and called the area "heaven on earth."

Apparently nobody warned him about practicing in 120-degree summer temperatures.

The versatile linebacker also said he's looking forward to learning behind veteran Karlos Dansby, who was signed to a one-year contract.

Reddick, the 13th pick overall, said he's already talked to Dansby and that he's "blessed and lucky" to be in a position to learn from him.

Round two of the draft begins at 7 p.m. with a pick by Green Bay.

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