The Eagles signed tackle Todd Herremans to a three-year extension through the 2016 season, the team announced Tuesday.
Herremans, who moved from left guard to right tackle last August and had a strong season, was originally signed through the 2013 season. He stood to earn a pay increase this season because of his switch to tackle, the highest-paid position on most offensive lines.
But the Eagles decided to lock up one of the anchors of the team for three more seasons and give him an even more significant raise.
"I kind of have been talking to [the Eagles] for a while, just joking back and forth," Herremans said during a news conference at the NovaCare Complex. "When they moved me back to tackle, my escalator in my contract did bump my pay a little bit, but maybe this was just out of good faith.
Are you happy with how the Eagles fared on the first day of NFL free agency?
"They're happy with what I've been doing here, and I've been working hard. I haven't been complaining about my contract."
Herremans will make the same in base salary over the next two seasons, but he'll earn an additional $11 million in guaranteed money and just under $21 million more should he play out the full length of the contract, an NFL source said.
"We are excited to be able to sign Todd to a new contract," Eagles head coach Andy Reid. "Todd's intelligence, toughness, durability, and leadership are second to none. Very few players in the NFL can play at an extremely high level at both the guard and tackle positions and Todd has done that for us. He has been a big part of the success of our offense over the last several years."
Herremans, 29, started all 16 games last season at right tackle. He logged 79 career starts at left guard before sliding outside. He made the move during the preseason when the Eagles had trouble finding a replacement for the injured Winston Justice.
Evan Mathis replaced Herremans at left guard without missing a beat. He will become an unrestricted free agent at 4 p.m. today, although signs indicate that the Eagles are trying to retain the 30-year old.
Mathis "texted me earlier today and congratulated me," Herremans said. "I said, 'Thanks, and hopefully we can get you done and back in green.'"
More extensions for the Eagles' integral players could be coming over the next few months as they look to take care of their own instead of diving head first into free agency as they did last season. All those changes, noted many times since the end of a disappointing 8-8 season, affected the Eagles' chemistry through most of the year.
"I don't think the team that we fielded last year was missing anything talent-wise," Herremans said. "I don't think our coaching staff was missing anything and I don't think the players on the field were missing anything. I just think it's like the first day of school when you don't know anybody in the class and you just have to figure out who you're going to sit by, who will let you cheat off of them."
Herremans and Mathis, along with All Pro left tackle Jason Peters, rookie center Jason Kelce and rookie right guard Danny Watkins formed to give the Eagles one of their best lines last season. The Eagles offense set a franchise record with 6,386 total yards.
The unit helped pave the way for running back LeSean McCoy’s career year in which he scored a team-record 20 total touchdowns and 17 rushing scores. The unit also allowed only 32 sacks in 2011, which tied for the fourth-lowest total in the NFC and was the team’s fewest allowed since 2008.