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NFL Free Agency Rumors: Brandon Graham drawing interest from Browns and other teams

NFL: FEB 06 Super Bowl LVII Opening Night Photo by Adam Bow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles are going to lose a number of key contributors in free agency. Howie Roseman set the stage for an exodus while speaking at the NFL Combine.

One such player who might be headed out the door is one of the most beloved in franchise history: Brandon Graham.

The soon-to-be 35-year-old is said to be “generating interest from other teams, including the Browns.” This much according to a report from ESPN’s Tim McManus, who adds:

His preference is to finish his career in Philly but sense here is he’s open to signing elsewhere, depending on where the Eagles come in with their offer.

This report is not the only linking Graham to Cleveland. Jared Mueller from SB Nation’s Browns outlet, Dawgs By Nature, wrote the following on Thursday based on buzz he heard while covering the Combine in Indianapolis:

Veterans Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham would be interested in joining [Browns defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz] depending on how things go with Philadelphia. Cox is more likely to be free than Graham.

In addition to the Schwartz connection, the Browns notably employ two former Eagles executives who overlapped with Graham in Philly: general manager Andrew Berry and assistant GM Catherine Raîche.

Cleveland desperately needs to add more pass rushing juice. Myles Garrett is obviously an elite talent; he had 16 sacks last season. The player with the second-most on the team behind him, though? That was Taven Bryan with just three. Their other starting edge rusher, Jadeveon Clowney, only had two. And he’s bound to leave the Browns after saying there is a “95% chance” he wouldn’t be back after a public falling out with the team.

All of this is to say that it’s not difficult to believe the Browns have genuine interest in signing Graham.

That said, the Eagles should not let him leave so easily. Roseman has talked about guarding against sentimentality ... but bringing Graham back would not only be about what he’s already done for Philadelphia. There’s reason to believe he can still be a very productive part of the pass rush rotation coming off a career 11-sack season. Graham’s game figures to age well since he often wins with his power and effort as opposed to relying on pure athleticism.

And if there ever is an exception to a rule about not retaining older players, Graham should easily be one of them. Dude made the biggest play in franchise history. And he’s such a positive force of energy to have around in the locker room.

The Eagles will have “walk away” numbers for their free agents. They need to be smart about how they spend and it’s possible that BG won’t be in the budget. It would be really sad to see him go. And the team would be worse off without him.

One would hope the two sides are able to get something done to keep an all-time Eagle in Philly.


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