How Brandon Graham’s new contract impacts the Eagles moving forward

PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 01: Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End Brandon Graham (55) celebrates a turnover in the first half during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles on November 01, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the contract extension for Eagles DE Brandon Graham that was previously reported has been completed.

Graham was set to enter the final year of his $40M contract, carrying a cap hit of $17M. It’s easy to see why the Eagles wanted to reduce that, but as it was his contract year, the only way to do so was via an extension. While the new figures haven’t been confirmed, we can do some basic math to work out rough logistics.

Graham’s previous cap hit was $17M. That consisted of a $2.5M bonus, $2.5M from a previous restructure, and a $13M base salary. According to OverTheCap, the Eagles could save around $9M when restructuring. There’s a good chance that the Eagles have reduced his cap hit down to $5M this year, moving his previous base salary into a prorated bonus next year, while offering him a similar bonus as a thank you. They could also pay him a veteran’s minimum this year, shoveling the remaining money into next year’s payday.

His new deal is worth $20M but over two years and could look like this (in very simplified terms)

2020: $8M base salary ($2.5M + $2.5M + thank you BG)
2021: $13M base salary & $3M bonus

*I’m not a financial advisor salary cap expert.

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 where he has said numerous times that 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.

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire