In keeping with franchise policy to identify its top young players early in their careers, and sign them to long-term deals before their current contracts expire, the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday signed third-year offensive guard Shawn Andrews to a seven-year extension through the 2015 season.
Complete financial details of the extension, which will be officially announced Monday afternoon, were not immediately available, but Andrews is expected to earn $11 million-$12 million in bonuses and base salary over the next year.
Andrews, 23, who played at Arkansas, was the team's first-round choice in the 2004 draft and the 16th player selected overall. He earned the starting job at right guard as a rookie, with a dominant training camp, but his debut campaign ended after just one game when he fractured his right fibula.
After diligent rehabilitation, Andrews was back on the field in 2005, and started all 16 games. He is viewed as a potential Pro Bowl blocker, a powerful in-line blocker, and a player who should become a centerpiece on a Philadelphia line that figures to undergo some revamping over the next few years.
In signing Andrews to the long-term extension, team president Joe Banner, arguably the NFL's top salary cap manager, is demonstrating his faith in the young guard to keep his weight under control. Andrews is listed at 345 pounds, but his weight has ballooned in the past to over 380 pounds, and created problems with stamina.
Andrews said this spring that the recent death of a close friend has prompted him to more seriously address his weight issues, and he has reportedly shed 30 pounds.
The Eagles signed Andrews to a six-year, $12.26 million contract in 2004, with the sixth season of the deal a voidable year. That means, under his existing deal, Andrews was under contract through 2008. The seven-year add-on means there is a possibility Andrews will play his entire career with the Eagles.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here.