The Philadelphia Eagles are bringing back one of the most important pieces of their defense in 2019, as they have agreed to a contract extension with defensive end Brandon Graham in advance of free agency.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that the deal is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $12-14 million per season.
My understanding is this deal comes in at between $12M and $14M per year. Strong for Graham, who now gets to stay home. https://t.co/lulc5mmFiJ
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 1, 2019
Graham, the No. 13 overall pick in the 2010 draft, has spent his entire nine-year career in Philly. The 30-year-old has missed just one game over the past seven seasons and is one of the leaders of the Eagles’ defense. If you remember, it was Graham who had the strip sack of Tom Brady that sealed a win for Philadelphia in the Super Bowl two years ago.
Now that they have locked Graham up for three more years without letting him hit free agency, the Eagles can focus on other needs this offseason.
The Philadelphia Eagles have been dealing with injuries at key positions since the end of last season, but it appears they are getting healthy at just the right time heading into 2018.
On Monday, the Eagles announced that star defensive end Brandon Graham has been removed from the physically unable to perform list. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media notes that the timing of the move gives Graham a good chance to be cleared by Week 1.
#Eagles DE Brandon Graham has been activated from the PUP list, meaning he’s passed his physical after offseason ankle surgery. The timeline gives him a good chance of being ready for the opener.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 20, 2018
Graham, a first-round pick back in 2010, had the best season of his career in 2017. The 30-year-old recorded 9.5 sacks and stripped Tom Brady late in the Super Bowl to seal a championship for the Eagles. He’s set to earn $6.5 million in the final year of his contract in Philly, and having him back healthy to start the year would be huge.
Brandon Graham could miss the Philadelphia Eagles’ spring workouts as he recovers from right ankle surgery.
ESPN’s Tim McManus reported on Tuesday about Graham’s surgery and says it occurred on May 1. He says Graham is expected to be ready for training camp.
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane confirmed news of the surgery and went a step further, wondering whether any of this has to do with Graham’s contract situation.
Brandon Graham confirmed in a text message that he recently had minor surgery on his ankle. (@Tim_McManus had it first). #Eagles DE could miss all of the spring workouts. Graham said in Feb. that he wanted a new contract, but the sides still remain far apart.
— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) May 16, 2018
The 30-year-old former first-round pick had a career-best 9.5 sacks last season for the Super Bowl champs. He is set to earn $6.5 million in what will be the final season of his contract.
- Brandon Graham
Super Bowl LII will see many talented players take the field from both the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles. The Patriots, as we know, boast a lot of talent led by one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, while the Eagles have a lot of talent themselves, including a rather fearsome defense.
Who are the best players going to be during this game? Let’s take a look at 15 of them from both teams.
1) Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
He’s the best. The legend only grew in the AFC championship when Brady led New England to yet another comeback win in the playoffs with a stitched-up throwing hand. The 40-year-old threw another 32 touchdowns in 2017 to just eight interceptions, good for 4,577 yards and, quite possibly, another MVP award. That remains to be seen, but he’ll certainly prefer another Super Bowl. Whatever happens, he’ll be the best and most important player on the field when Super Bowl LII kicks off; everything the Patriots do revolves around him.
2) Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots
The Patriots sound optimistic that Gronkowski will be good to go for the Super Bowl, which is great news for the Patriots. He was his usual self this season, staying healthy after a difficult 2016 and leading the team in receptions (69), yards (1,084), and touchdowns (8). He’s a matchup nightmare for opponents and probably the game’s best tight end. As long as he plays, he’ll probably play a big role in any success the Patriots have against the Philadelphia defense.
3) Fletcher Cox, DT, Eagles
The 2017-2018 NFL season is nearing its end with only the Super Bowl left to play. Accordingly, the stamp has been put on the performances for most players and now the debate is on: who was the best, who was the worst, who was over-looked, and who ended up being a letdown?
Here’s a look at 15 of the NFL’s most underrated players in 2017:
15. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
It’s hard to believe Michael Thomas, who has more receptions in his first two seasons than any wide receiver in history, could be considered underrated or overlooked, but it’s become apparent that he is. Thomas finished third among receivers in receptions (104), sixth in yards (1,245), third in first downs (70) and second in PFF grades (93.0), but failed to earn an All-Pro nod and was left off the PFWA All-NFL Team. He was voted into his first Pro Bowl, but he deserves much more recognition.
14. Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts
Jack Doyle made his presence known in 2016, but he still wasn’t really on anyone’s radar outside of Indianapolis entering this season. Despite the lack of attention, Doyle continued a steady progression, finishing second among tight ends in receptions (80), sixth in receiving yards (690), seventh in first downs (34) and 10th in Pro Football Focus grade (77.5). Even with the impressive credentials, Doyle remains underrated and overlooked, failing to earn a Pro Bowl nod, a spot on the AP All-Pro Team or any honors courtesy of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).
13. Blake Martinez, LB, Green Bay Packers
Through the first six weeks of the NFL season, several popular names still lead the fray when it comes to defensive production. However, key injuries to superstars like J.J. Watt have created a void that has been filled by some surprising players, many of whom are having career years.
Here’s a look at each NFL team’s best defensive player so far in 2017.
Arizona Cardinals — Tyvon Branch, S
There are a lot of talented defenders on Arizona’s roster, but through six weeks, it’s hard to argue that Tyvon Branch — who has been called a “wolverine” complement to the “honey badger” — isn’t the very best. He not only leads the team and is tied for the league lead with 55 tackles, but he’s also defended four passes, forced a fumble and was named to the Pro Football Focus First Quarter All-Pro Team. Branch getting the nod says a lot about his impact this season when you consider Arizona also has Chandler Jones and his six sacks.
Atlanta Falcons — Deion Jones, LB
Deion Jones has filled out the box score this year, leading the Falcons with 38 tackles. He’s also recorded a sack, three passes defended and an interception. Jones is also among Pro Football Focus’ top 15 graded linebackers this season, alongside teammate De’Vondre Campbell, who has also landed very high grades for Atlanta. Jones is blossoming well for Atlanta in his second NFL season.
- Akiem Hicks, Blake Martinez, Bobby Wagner, Brandon Graham, Brent Grimes, Calais Campbell, Cam Heyward, Cameron Jordan, CJ Mosley, Darius Slay, Deion Jones, Demarcus Lawrence, Geno Atkins, Harrison Smith, Jaquiski Tartt, Jason McCourty, John Simon, Johnathan Joseph, Jordan Poyer, Julius Peppers, Justin Houston, Khalil Mack, Landon Collins, Malcolm Butler, Mark Barron, Melvin Ingram, Morris Claiborne, Reshad Jones, Tyvon Branch, Von Miller, Wesley Woodyard, Zach Brown
The Philadelphia Eagles did not at all enjoy the feeling of being embarrassed on Sunday Night Football while the Green Bay Packers were out there laughing it up and enjoying themselves throughout the blowout. In fact, linebacker Brandon Graham was particularly peeved at Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers’ smiles and smirks during his 341-yard, 3-touchdown performance were too much for Graham.
“Hell, yeah. That sh– pissed me off,” Graham told CSN Philly’s Geoff Mosher. “I wanted to get him. But at the end of the day, shoot, he was doing his job. More power to him. I guess we would be laughing if we were sacking him.”
Mosher says Eagles players were irked at seeing Rodgers have fun at their expense.
“It’s just one of them things where you want to smack that smirk off his face,” Graham said. “But I mean they definitely came to play. I’ve got to take my hat off to him. That’s the first time I have ever seen that.
“We started talking about it toward the end. We were like, ‘He’s been laughing at us all day.’ He’s a good quarterback, man. I would love to see him in the playoffs. You definitely have to get after him.”
Graham at least has a good attitude about it. He was bothered and insulted by Rodgers’ demeanor, but he knows what he wants to do: get even by beating the Packers in the playoffs. They might get the chance.
Helmet Smack to Pro Football Talk