The roster move we’ve all been waiting for has finally been announced: the Philadelphia Eagles have re-signed veteran safety Corey Graham to a one-year deal, according to an official announcement from the team.
Here’s what we wrote about the possibility of Graham’s return earlier this offseason.
After signing with Philadelphia in August 2017, Graham went on to play 36% of the Eagles’ defensive snaps during the 2017 regular season. He then played 60% of the Eagles’ defensive snaps in the playoffs, including 64 snaps in the team’s Super Bowl win. For context, only six Eagles defenders played more often in the final game of the year. Fletcher Cox, the Eagles’ highest paid player, played exactly four more snaps than Graham did.
It’s clear, then, that Graham’s presence didn’t just give the Eagles good depth at safety behind starters Rodney McLeod and Malcolm Jenkins. It also allowed the latter to line up all over Philly’s defensive formation. According to Pro Football Focus, Jenkins played his snaps at four different positions in 2017: linebacker (42%), slot cornerback (30%), safety (24%), and outside cornerback (4%).
Having a quality third safety unquestionable paid off for the Eagles last year.
Graham, who turned 33 years old in late July, figures to resume his role as a defensive role player and special teams contributor. He bolsters the Eagles’ depth behind Jenkins and McLeod.
The feeling here is the Eagles will keep Jenkins, McLeod, Graham, and Tre Sullivan as the four safeties on their 53-man roster. Chris Maragos, meanwhile, may begin the season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
In other roster news, the Eagles waived undrafted free agent safety Ryan Neal. Neal missed all of spring drills due to injury. The Eagles also waived/injured tight end Adam Zaruba, who was carted off the field during practice last weekend.
In addition to signing Graham, the Eagles used their other vacant roster spot to sign free agent tight end Gannon Sinclair. The 25-year-old Sinclair measures in at 6-6, 256 pounds and possesses the Triforce of Power. Hailing from the Gerudo Desert, Sinclair figures to be a camp body for the Eagles. Richard Rodgers is currently dealing with an upper body injury so Philadelphia needed more guys at the position.
The roster is now back at the offseason limit of 90 players.