July 24, 2019
Philadelphia Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson is a two-time Pro Bowler, a 2017 All-Pro selection and a Super Bowl champion.
But if you ask him, he shouldn't be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He feels that his two suspensions for using performance enhancing drugs should disqualify him from future consideration.
Johnson was recently interviewed by NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clarke, who visited Johnson's home to see his personal "Bro Barn" — the backyard gym he built for workouts.
The conversation touched on a range of Eagles topics, but Johnson was very clear about the PED suspensions remaining a mark on his legacy.
Lane Johnson still motivated by getting suspended for PEDs— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) July 24, 2019
“It doesn’t matter if I make 7 Pro Bowls. As far as the Hall of Fame. I don’t think I deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. Even if I did accomplish those things. Because of my suspensions. I don’t think it would be right” pic.twitter.com/7pdizrruFG
Johnson was selected fourth overall in 2013 NFL draft out of Oklahoma. He was a highly touted prospect and was expected to be an anchor for the Eagles offensive line for the next decade or more.
In 2014, Johnson tested positive for a banned substance and was suspended for four games. Two years later, he tested positive for second time and received a 10-game suspension.
Few athletes are willing to own up to violating the rules. When they do, it's usually after they've been backed into a corner, as seen more recently with Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson and Patriots receiver Julian Edelman.
How PEDs fit into the narrative of a player's career in any sport remains a subject that hasn't yet been fully resolved, more so in baseball and cycling than any other sports.
Johnson said he would ultimately like to have a place in the Eagles Hall of Fame and remain in Philadelphia for the rest of his career. He's usually one of the first to defend his teammates or speak his mind about opponents, but in this case his humility is refreshing and shows that he realizes there are consequences for the mistakes he made.