Last week, it was reported that Brandon Graham and the Philadelphia Eagles were working on a contract extension. This week, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk is reporting the Eagles are eager to re-sign Graham but the feeling isn’t necessarily mutual.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, veteran defensive end Brandon Graham has been pushing back on efforts to ink him to a new contract.
So why not take a long-term deal? Because the market, and the salary cap, continue to go up and up. Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon cashed in a couple of years ago at $17 million per year, and Graham may believe that forcing his way to the market — or worst-case scenario to the franchise tag — is better than whatever the Eagles are offering.
This report shouldn’t cause panic. Graham is signed through the 2018 season, so there’s still plenty of time for the two sides to find common ground.
But for now, assuming Florio’s report is correct, it seems like we might have to wait to see a Graham extension get done.
There’s no question Graham deserves a big pay day. Here’s what we previouly wrote about the veteran defensive end.
Not only is he a hard-working player who was named one of Philadelphia’s five captains. He’s also just a really good player. Through the Eagles’ first 10 games, Graham has logged 18 tackles, six sacks, three pass deflections, and one forced fumble.
Graham’s impact goes beyond the traditional stats. He ranks tied for 8th among all 4-3 defensive ends in pressures this season. He also ranks first overall in PFF’s Run Stop Percentage. Graham is a key member of an Eagles defense that ranks No. 1 in rushing the passer and No. 1 in run defense.
The Eagles recently re-signed Alshon Jeffery to a long-term contract extension. They did the same with Tim Jernigan earlier this season. They clearly have interest in locking up this core.
With Philadelphia’s cap situation being tight, things could get tricky moving forward. The reality is that the Eagles won’t be able to keep everyone.
But the organization does seem to have interest in keeping Graham. So we’ll see how it plays out.