East Notes: L. Johnson, Patriots, Bills, Cowboys

Although perennial Pro Bowler Jason Peters currently mans left tackle in Philadelphia, the Eaglesextension of Lane Johnson indicates that the club clearly views him at its left tackle of the future. Johnson’s new deal, which locks him up through 2021, makes him the highest-paid right tackle in the league, and would put on him par with the most well-compensated left tackles, as well. For his part, Johnson agrees that his time on the blindside will come eventually.

“I think that’s what they drafted me for,” Johnson tells Zach Berman of Philly.com. “Obviously, Jason Peters is probably the best tackle of all time. One of them. Him and Walter Jones, in my opinion. Having him here, he’s taught me so much. I’m going to continue to [play right tackle] until that time comes.”

Here’s more from the NFL’s East divisions:

  • The Patriots‘ offensive struggles were on full display during the AFC Championship Game, and the club will have some work to do to improve the unit in 2016. But one lineman who is unlikely to be retained is swing tackle Marcus Cannon, whom Matt Dolloff of CBS Boston believes will be a salary cap casualty. Releasing Cannon would save New England about $3.69MM (the Patriots currently project to have only ~$4MM in 2016 cap space).
  • If the Patriots opt to make outside additions to its offensive line, someone like Browns right tackle Mitchell Schwartz will probably be outside of their comfort level financially. But Chiefs free agent Jeff Allen would be more affordable, and as Dolloff notes, Allen’s ability to play both guard and tackle could be intriguing to Bill Belichick.
  • Free agent linebacker Nigel Bradham clearly won’t be a priority for the Bills as they seek to re-sign Cordy Glenn and Richie Incognito, writes Mike Rodak of ESPN.com, who predicts that Bradham won’t return to Buffalo if he asks for $4-5MM annually. One potential replacement could be Jets linebacker Demario Davis, according to Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com, who says Buffalo could circle back to Davis after the first wave of free agency.
  • While reports have indicated that Johnny Manziel — who is in the news again for an off-field incident — would like to play for the Cowboys, Todd Archer of ESPN.com doesn’t think it would be a good move. Returning to the state where he is the biggest celebrity would not be a positive for the 23-year-old, opines Archer.
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