While there have been rumors about his departure from the Eagles all offseason, outside linebacker Brandon Graham is happy to still be in Philadelphia. The former first round pick has endured everything from trade rumors to intense scrutiny to justifiable player comparisons, but still Graham thinks he has a shot at starting for the Eagles. Graham initially avoided reporter questions on Thursday after practice, but eventually relented and shared his thoughts on his situation.
Here are some interesting tidbits from Graham's session with the media:
The newly-married Graham told reporters that Philadelphia is where he wants to play this season and beyond:
Brandon Graham: I want to be here. I would be sad if I had to go.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) May 29, 2014
DE-LB Brandon Graham heard the trade rumors, wants to end his career w #Eagles, calls #Philly his home.— Bob Grotz (@BobGrotz) May 29, 2014
Graham acknowledged that he is at the proper weight for the outside linebacker position in the Eagles 3-4 defense and he has no issue with the team drafting a player at his position in the first round:
Brandon Graham said his weight is where it needs to be - 265 pounds. Said he was cool with #Eagles drafting Marcus Smith.— Ed Kracz (@kracze) May 29, 2014
Graham believes that all the trade speculation this offseason was just noise:
Brandon Graham on trade rumors: "I’m still here. ...It’s just rumors. I feel like if it was something they wanted to do, I’d be gone."— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) May 29, 2014
Chip Kelly even acknowledged a question about Graham at his media session and had a bit of fun with it:
Q: Is Brandon Graham the ideal size you'd like at OLB? Chip: "Ideally I'd like a guy who's 6'11" and 400 lbs. So he's a little under that."— Mark Saltveit (@taoish) May 29, 2014
Clearly, this situation is something keep an eye on. With the big news that Marcus Smith is learning the JACK position in OTAs, it could be a sign that the Eagles like Graham as either Trent Cole's backup or his competition at the other outside linebacker position. Graham could still be dealt but his presence on the roster either speaks to the confidence the team has in him this season or his lack of value on the trade market.