When Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson tweeted out a picture of a $17,747 dinner bill from Del Frisco's Steakhouse in Philadelphia last Friday night, he wasn't expecting the tweet to receive as much attention as it did. Johnson met with reporters after the team's OTA practice on Monday and said he was surprised by the reaction to the tweet.
"Yeah, I probably should have given it some clarity," said Johnson, who simply tweeted "rookie dinner" along with the picture of the bill.
Johnson was aware that some thought he was pressured into paying for his teammates. Examples of this type of hazing in the NFL have occurred in the past where teammates go out to eat and rookie players are stuck with the bill. According to Johnson, that wasn't the case in this event. He made it clear he was not pressured to pay for everyone. In fact, he was not the only player who contributed money.
"It's not like I paid the whole bill. I got help from Todd [Herremans] and Evan [Mathis]. Just something I did for them. No big deal to me."
Eagles offensive lineman Jason Kelce also weighed in on Johnson's tweet. He confirmed Johnson wasn't pressured to pay for his teammates.
"The bottom line is it was a team function. Nobody forced Lane to do that. A lot of the times, this is with any profession, I feel like when you get a promotion or get a raise or something like that, what do you do. The first thing you do is you take out your family, friends, people around you that you care about. Like I just signed a big deal, I’m gonna do something for these guys. I’m not just gonna take everything. Obviously there’s other people that contributed to me getting a bigger deal.
So it gets portrayed in the media, they like to act like they have a clue of what’s going on in our locker room. But the fact of the matter is we have a really tight-knit group of guys, and Lane was more than happy to do that."
Kelce noted that he would have not tweeted the picture of the bill, however.
"No, I would not have. That's something we talked to Lane about. You generally don't want to tweet that out. But we're not trying to hide anything here. He tweeted it out, it is what it is."
So, in the end... big bill? Yes. Big deal? No.