Continuing to lock up their young offensive linemen with long-term deals, the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday reached agreement with starting left guard Todd Herremans on a five-year contract extension.
The deal is worth $16 million to $17 million and includes a $5 million signing bonus. Herremans signed the extension Saturday, which is the NFL deadline for teams to sign players to new contracts and be able to allocate remaining 2006 salary cap space to do so.
Philadelphia is typically proactive in reaching early extensions with players they believe are key to their future and Herremans, only a second-year pro, is considered one of the team's young veterans around whom the Eagles will build.
Herremans, 24, is the third young interior offensive lineman the Eagles have signed to extensions in the past seven months. Center Jamaal Jackson, in his first season as a full-time starter, and Pro Bowl right guard Shawn Andrews signed long extensions this summer. Jackson is under contract through 2013 and Andrews through 2015. The team's two starting tackles, William Thomas and Jon Runyan, are both signed through the 2008 season.
The extension with Herremans is also the fourth one team president Joe Banner, arguably the league's premier salary cap expert, has negotiated with a member of the Eagles' 2005 draft class. Defensive tackle Mike Patterson (No. 1), wide receiver Reggie Brown (No. 2a) and defensive end Trent Cole (No. 5a) are the other three players from that draft class to land extensions since the start of the season.
A fourth-round choice, Herremans, who played at Saginaw (Mich.) Valley State, started four games as a rookie in 2005, filling in for the injured Thomas at left tackle. He settled in at the left guard spot during training camp this summer and has started all 15 games heading into Sunday's regular-season finale against the Atlanta Falcons.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here.