Eagles, OT Runyan agree to three-year contract

Updated: March 24, 2006, 4:51 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Ten-year veteran Jon Runyan, one of the best and most durable right offensive tackles in the league, has agreed to return to the Philadelphia Eagles after testing the unrestricted free-agent market for two weeks.

Jon Runyan
Runyan

After negotiating with the New York Jets and the Eagles, Runyan on Friday decided to stay put, agreeing to a three-year contract, financial details of which were not immediately available. It's believed that Runyan's agent, Ben Dogra, was still speaking with the Jets as well on Friday morning.

Runyan, 32, was the No. 12 player on ESPN.com's free-agent rankings.

He visited with the Jets on Tuesday and Wednesday and New York officials seemed to feel they had a solid chance of landing the veteran tackle. Runyan, though, resides in Mt. Laurel, N.J., close to Philadelphia, and said earlier in the offseason he hoped to stay with the Eagles.

At the outset of free agency, the consensus around the league was that the Eagles would allow Runyan to depart and would slide third-year right guard Shawn Andrews, the team's first-round choice in the 2004 draft, out to right tackle. But the Eagles didn't initially solidify the interior of their offensive line, as they hoped to in free agency, and that may have played a role in the decision to keep Runyan.

The former University of Michigan standout, who has one Pro Bowl appearance on his resume, has put together two straight solid seasons and continues to play at a high level. He is a strong blocker in the running game and plays with a nasty disposition, and his pass protection skills are dramatically better than they were early in his career.

Runyan has not missed a game since signing a six-year, $30.5 million contract with Philadelphia in 2000. In fact, Runyan has not missed a game since his second season in the league, after playing in 10 games as a rookie in 1996.

A fourth-round draft choice of the Houston Oilers in 1996, he played four seasons with the franchise before joining the Eagles as an unrestricted free agent in 2000, signing what was then one of the biggest contracts in league history for an offensive lineman.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.

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