The long wait for Training Camp is underway. That arduous silence before football returns to the City of Brotherly Love has left dustballs floating across the Road. After a short stint of controversy concerning the White House visit, the Eagles were able to wade through their first offseason as Super Bowl champions with relative ease, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t questions left on the table. Here are the three most prevalent that need to be answered between now and Training Camp.
Will Brandon Graham receive an extension?
The curious case of Brandon Graham and the missing contract extension has left many scratching their heads for two years now. The drafting of Derek Barnett and extension given to Vinny Curry seemingly left their most lethal defensive end out in the cold and after a 9.5 sack season, the big payday is just around the corner…but will it be the Eagles who are able to make it work.
Still relatively cap-stricken, the Eagles have reportedly been in talks with Graham for quite some time. Back in December, those negotiations were rumored and during the team’s Super Bowl ring presentation, there was an interesting snippet of dialogue posted to Graham’s instagram story.
Brandon Graham to Howie Roseman on his IG: “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”
Howie: “Just gotta offer you that 15m a year…”
BG: “Don’t worry we’re gonna get right” pic.twitter.com/aWUCIhPMlj
— 𝗝𝗢𝗛𝗡 𝗕𝗔𝗥𝗖𝗛𝗔𝗥𝗗🔴⏯ (@JohnBarchard) June 15, 2018
There may be no player more deserving of a contract extension than Brandon Graham and none that Eagles fans want to see a long-term future secured for. The question is, can Howie Roseman work yet more magic?
A late free-agent signing?
The Eagles weren’t able to completely evade setbacks this offseason. Losing Paul Worrilow to a torn ACL during OTA’s left the linebacker corps light on depth…but when Mychal Kendricks was cut just hours later, alarm bells started ringing. While Nate Gerry, Kamu Grugier-Hill and newly signed Corey Nelson have enjoyed promising springs, it would hardly be surprising to see the Eagles add in some late veteran talent at the position and there are plenty of names still out there.
Outside of linebacker, we could also see an extra body added at defensive tackle, a position that lost starter Timmy Jernigan for an extended period due to injury. There are plenty of developmental names alongside Haloti Ngata who will look to step up to the plate, but a veteran body may well be brought in to add some extra bulk to one of the most valuable areas on this team.
Will Corey Graham return?
This has been speculated for months, but we’re still yet to find an answer. The Eagles cherish the Safety position and their plentiful depth in 2017 allowed Malcolm Jenkins to play he majority of his snaps inside the box, while the combo of Graham and Jaylen Watkins partnered Rodney McLeod. Without either of those names returning, a huge window opens up for guys like Jeremy Reaves and Tre Sullivan, but will it stay that way?
Graham is coming off a season where he saw 36 percent of the teams defensive snaps in which he amassed 28 tackles, 2 picks and 4 forced fumbles. Additionally, Graham was instrumental in winning the Super Bowl as he was on the field for 84 percent of the snaps.
The Eagles’s defensive coordinator has made it known as of late how greatly he valued Graham in 2017.
“Corey Graham did play a significant part in being able to move Malcolm around. Corey was another guy that had played corner, played nickel, played a lot of special teams, and played safety, a little bit like Malcolm…. all of them (Jenkins, Bradham, and Graham) were able to play a lot of different positions for us and get us over the hump when it came to injuries. You’re gonna have injuries, you gotta be able to deal with them. We were fortunate enough to have multi-dimensional players that were able to keep our level of play high even though we did have those injuries.”
Even more interestingly, fellow Philly Sports Network writer, Gino Cammilleri broke a story concerning this matter not long ago.
According to a source familiar with the situation, Corey Graham is expected to return to the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles. There are said to be wheels in motion for a return after the conclusion of Mandatory Minicamp, that takes place next week from June 12th-14th. It is not uncommon to see a veteran player sign after Mandatory Minicamp. In 2017, Graham signed on August 3rd, well after the conclusion of offseason workouts.
It remains to be seen whether or not Graham will return to the Eagles, but this may be the biggest question facing the team between now and the commencing of Training Camp.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports