How much will it cost to extend offensive lineman T.J. Lang? Plenty. Evan Mathis of the Philadelphia Eagles signed a five-year contract worth just over $25 million in March. The deal included a $5 million bonus. While the 30-year-old Mathis played extremely well in 2011, he’s almost six years older than Lang and not nearly as versatile.
Daryn Colledge signed a five-year contract worth $27.5 million with the Arizona Cardinals last summer. The deal included a $7.5 million bonus. And while Lang was an upgrade at left guard last season, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll make more money than his former teammate. Colledge took advantage of the frenetic signing period following the holdout. He also came into the National Football league as a more highly regarded prospect, and as silly as it may seem, that sometimes makes a difference in free agency.
The guess here is that Lang will command a contract similar to the one signed by Mathis. Would GM Ted Thompson be willing to spend nearly $60 million on his starting guards (Josh Sitton agreed to a $33 million deal last September)? Logic says no, but I’m not ready to wave goodbye to Lang just yet. He’s the kind of blue-collar player Thompson admires. He also seems to really enjoy playing in Green Bay. And while these two things don’t guarantee his return in 2013, it makes me think there’s a decent chance something will get done.