According to Derrick Gunn, the Philadelphia Eagles and defensive end Brandon Graham are working on a contract restructure. This comes shortly after an article on The Athletic gave a much more personal look into Brandon Graham’s life and why he wants to remain in Philadelphia.
The news itself is interesting as a ‘restructure’ for Barnett would actually be an extension. Now in the final year of his three-year $40M contract, the veteran carries a cap hit of around $17M. It’s easy to see why the Eagles would want to reduce that, but doing so would require giving the 32-year-old a new deal.
That may actually prove to be a wise strategy. Behind Derek Barnett, who is currently entering his option-year, depth is minimal. Josh Sweat is the real engine to watch here as he could well become a starter in 2021, which will also be his contract year. Genard Avery, whom the team traded for two years ago, is moving to linebacker. For a team that invests so heavily along the defensive front, having no long-term security is frightening.
Graham is coming off of his first-ever pro bowl season and now owns the franchise record for most games played by a defensive lineman (157). His 59 career sacks currently rank him fourth in Eagles history, with 8.5 of them coming during a rampant start to the 2020 campaign.
Extending Brandon Graham not only rewards yet another strong season from the 11-year-vet but keeps the Super Bowl hero in Philadelphia, which is clearly where he wants to be. Beyond that, it gives the Eagles some sense of security when trying to figure out how best to keep the pass-rush machine moving. Do they invest through the NFL Draft, or turn to some free agents for help?
Whichever method they choose, they would be wise to make sure that Brandon Graham is on the scene to help the new players along as one of the locker room’s most vocal leaders and lovable personalities.
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