EAGLES MAKE IT CLEAR LANDON DICKERSON IS CENTERPIECE OF THE O-LINE GOING FORWARD 

The Philadelphia Eagles make it clear that Landon Dickerson is the centerpiece of the offensive line going forward. For most of his college football career, offensive lineman Landon Dickerson was plagued with ACL injuries and endless questions about his knees. Dickerson developed what seemed like a permanent frown, especially when around the media.  There were legitimate reasons for the questions about his health.

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Dickerson started the first seven games at Florida State before suffering a season-ending knee injury. It only got worse the next season. He started the first four games of his sophomore season before missing the rest of the season due to injury. Dickerson then moved on to Alabama as a graduate transfer, having earned his undergraduate degree from Florida State. The injury bug followed the 6-foot-6, 335-pounder to Tuscaloosa.

Dickerson started the first 11 games of the season for Alabama as a redshirt senior before suffering ligament damage in his right knee against Florida in the 2020 SEC Championship Game. Despite missing so many games, Dickerson won virtually every award an offensive lineman can earn in college football. He is that talented. But questions about his injury-prone college career and his knees persisted. He drifted to the second round, where Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman scooped up the gifted blocker with the No. 37 overall pick.

Boom or Bust

He came to NovaCare injured and rehabbing…fans were rolling their eyes that this could be a bust. But by the start of the season, Dickerson was available for duty. And it seemed everyone was waiting for another setback. Dickerson never seemed at ease in his own skin every time he spoke to the media corps that first year because there were so many questions about his health. He never seemed to relax that first year on the roster.

Per Ian Rapoport, The Eagles and Pro Bowl guard Landon Dickerson have agreed to terms on a 4-year extension worth $84M base, $87M max value, He gets $50M, guaranteed, and a $20M signing bonus. The highest-paid guard in NFL history at $21M per year.

In 2021, he played right guard after week three in place of the injured Isaac Seumalo.  Fortunately, the injury bug never surfaced for the massive lineman. In 2022 and 2023, Dickerson has started all 33 games he was asked to play. No significant injuries. He is still a little uncomfortable at his locker talking about football, but the questions about his health are gone. He smiles a lot now.

Dickerson’s limitless abilities to play offensive line have blossomed. He is now considered one of the best guards in the NFL. He has made two consecutive Pro Bowls. Last week, Dickerson was all smiles as the Eagles made him the highest-paid guard in the history of the NFL. The deal has been reported as a four-year, $84 million contract with $50 million guaranteed, including a $20 million signing bonus.

ALL ABOUT PHILADELPHIA NOW

At his press conference, Dickerson looked like a man at peace with the world and a shining example of Philadelphia’s Brotherly Love. It is his home now. Dickerson was asked what it was about Philadelphia that he and his wife had fallen in love with.

“I think it’s just the way the city and the fans feed off this team,” Dickerson said. “And vice-versa. It’s a very demanding place to play and a lot of people aren’t up for that task.

“For me, I absolutely love it. There are high expectations every season. The fans are going to let you know how you guys are doing whether it’s walking down the middle of the street, or going in at half time. They’re brutally honest with you. I appreciate that. I just love the passion in this city that everybody has here. It’s hard to find anything like that anywhere else in the country.”

Dickerson was asked what his feelings were now and what getting a contract like this meant to him.

“Super excited,” Dickerson said. “To me it reiterates how much the coaches, Howie and Mr. Lurie want to keep me around here. I absolutely love being here. I really didn’t plan on going anywhere else…I didn’t tell Howie that though. It just shows a lot of respect and how much trust they have in me to continue to grow both as a player and develop and do good things for this team and this city.” 

MORE RESPONSIBILITY NOW THAT KELCE AND COX HAVE RETIRED

Now that the Eagles have invested in him with a record contract, Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox are gone. Is Dickerson ready to take on a different role as a leader for the Eagles?

“I think moving forward, obviously, going into my fourth year now; I think I can absolutely step up and have more of that leadership role.”

Dickerson paused for a moment to address the obvious. No one takes the place of a player like Jason Kelce.

“I know it’s…I’m not going to say it’s impossible, but nearly impossible to replace somebody like Jason Kelce. What he did for not only his teammates, this city and everybody around him…there’s only one of him and I think there probably only be one of him.

“Big shoes to fill, but absolutely I’m going to embrace whatever role comes to me and whatever this team needs.”

Dickerson was asked what he had learned from playing next to Kelce in the last three years.

“There’s so much stuff,” the 25-year-old said. “His ability as a football player obviously is what a lot of people see. And that’s one thing that he’d been able to teach me a tremendous amount of. 

“His knowledge of the game, football IQ, things he looks at, things he sees. Being in the meeting room with him…position, team meeting room. Seeing how he is in the locker room, how he treats other guys, how to be a good teammate. A lot of valuable lessons he taught me.”    

Did getting this level of a contract give Dickerson a sense of validation from the Eagles?

“I wouldn’t say a sense of validation when it comes to playing,” The former Alabama standout said. “The extension kind of shows the respect and the potential that the coaches…Howie think that I have as a player. For me that only continually wants me to try and get better…keep improving all my game, day after day.”     

What were the conversations like with the Eagles that ended up making him the highest-paid guard in the NFL right now?

“It was just Howie approached my agent,” said Dickerson, who is represented by SportsTrust Advisors. “I guess that’s what I have him for…[Howie] reaching out, especially this early to my agent and me, letting them know that they wanted to plan to keep me around.

“It really means a lot to somebody; especially in this line of work…you never know when your last day is going to be or anything. It’s kind of a volatile area. It’s job security knowing that for the next four, five years, this is where I’m at…this is home.”

Landon Being Landon

Speaking of home. It was unusual for Dickerson to show photos of his place in North Carolina, where he was building an old school pick-up truck starting with just the shell. Apparently, those projects have moved up north.  Dickerson talked about how he and his new wife decided to make the Delaware Valley their home.

“Since we moved up here, finding our house, settling in where we are, we love it here,” Dickerson said. “I think it was within the first couple of months after buying the house, this is kind of home for us year round.”

Landon Dickerson said he never shared his feelings with Roseman about how badly he wanted to stay with the Eagles.

“Being here has been a tremendous bright spot in my life,” Dickerson said. “We really didn’t plan on being anywhere else. The only thing I’ve ever heard is guys, when they leave this organization and go somewhere else and how much they miss everything about this place. For me I just didn’t want there to be any question about how much I wanted to be here and stick around here. And hopefully be around here my entire career.”

Dickerson was in full Philly-is-my-home mode that day.

“Every day I come in here is the reason I want to stay,” Dickerson said. “Not only the teammates that I have, the coaches, the other faculty here…Howie, Mr. Lurie, the ownership. Really everything about this place is what I enjoy, that’s why I want to be here.”

Dickerson said he has talked briefly to the new offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore. 

“Extremely excited to see what he can do…I’m a fan of his offense, his play calling and style.”

What will be his first purchase now that he has all that loot?

“I don’t know, I may get a new lawn mower. That’s something I’ve been looking into.”

Sitting? “Yeah, zero turn.”  And all smiles. *

  • Injury info from Wilipedia.com
  • Contract info from spotrac.com
  • All photos by Andy Lewis
Al Thompson
Al Thompson

Covers High School, College and Pro Sports for the last 35 years, Writer, radio host and Sports Director at WRDV Radio 89.3 FM in Hatboro, PA. Publisher, Editor of Footballstories The Magazine. Author of “The Gilmore Years.”

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