The Eagles announced on Friday morning that they have re-signed defensive end Brandon Graham to a three-year contract, a move that will almost guarantee he ends his career with the team that drafted him.
Graham has the seventh-most sacks (42.5) in franchise history and leads the team with 61 tackles for a loss and 12 forced fumbles since 2014. Although he is coming off of a down season, where he finished just 4.0 sacks, Graham finished with 9.5 sacks in 2017 and was one of the best defensive ends in all of football.
This is a move the Eagles had to make. The team’s defensive line has been one of the best in the league over the last few seasons, but with Graham set to hit free agency, they were in massive danger of taking a step back along the line. Graham has arguably been the team’s best defensive end over the last few seasons, and now that he is back, the Eagles can feel confident in a trio of Graham, Michael Bennett and Derek Barnett.
Graham and the Eagles striking a deal shouldn’t be surprising. Graham made it clear at the end of the season that he really wanted to be back in Philadelphia, and as mentioned above, the Eagles needed him back. Unlike last time around, when Graham fielded an offer from just one other team, the defensive end was likely going to be the top player at his position in free agency. By signing now, and not testing the free agency market, Graham made it clear that he was never really going to consider leaving Philadelphia.
One major reason to believe that Graham will have a bounce-back season is that he enters this offseason healthy. Last year, coming off of the Super Bowl win, Graham underwent ankle surgery and missed almost all of training camp. It was clear the missed time had an impact on him at the start of the season. Now healthy, Graham should enter training camp ready to go and in much better shape than he was last season.