Reed Blankenship Thought Huge Contract Bonus Was a Prank

Monday was April Fool's Day. That's why Philadelphia Eagles S Reed Blankenship assumed his massive contract bonus was nothing more than a prank.
Reed Blankenship was caught off guard by his contract bonus.
Reed Blankenship was caught off guard by his contract bonus. / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Monday was a huge day for Reed Blankenship and Philadelphia Eagles fans. After all, not only did the Eagles sign the veteran safety to a one-year extension, but Reed also received a massive $923,059 contract bonus due to his terrific 2023 performance.

While Philadelphia fans weren't surprised that Blankenship performed well enough to achieve that bonus, the huge financial figure caught him off guard. In fact, the former Middle Tennessee defender told reporters that he assumed the bonus was nothing more than a prank.

Eagles News: Reed Blankenship Assumed Contract Bonus was a Prank

With Monday being April Fool's Day, Blankenship assumed his agent was pranking him when he texted him the details of his bonus, per The Philadelphia Inquirer's EJ Smith. Blankenship received the second-highest performance-based bonus among all NFL players in 2023, only trailing New York Jets offensive guard John Simpson ($974,613).

It's hilarious that Blankenship assumed he was being pranked, but the fact is that he's been no joke since joining the Eagles as an undrafted free agent in 2022.

After a relatively quiet debut campaign, the Athens, AL native was thrust into a starting role last season. While some players crumble under the pressure, that wasn't the case for Blankenship. Suiting up in 15 games, he racked up 79 solo tackles, 11 defended passes, three interceptions, and one fumble recovery.

Blankenship was also one of football's better defenders last season, according to Pro Football Focus, playing to a defensive grade of 73.4 — 19th-best among 95 eligible safeties. His 78.0 coverage grade was also the 13th-best at his position.

Considering how Blankenship only turned 25 at the beginning of March, there's a good chance that we haven't even seen his best performance yet. Assuming that he continues to make major improvements, future big-time bonuses will be far less shocking.

Hopefully, Blankenship — and the rest of the defense — can do his part in helping Philadelphia go on another championship run. For now, the Eagles hold the eighth-best Super Bowl LIX odds on FanDuel Sportsbook.

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