The Eagles have signed Brandon Graham to a three-year contract worth $40 million. That breaks down to about $13.3m per year. Graham has been a vital part of the Eagles dominant defensive line these past few seasons, and is responsible for perhaps the biggest play in Eagles history.
The Defensive Line
The Eagles defensive line accounts for nearly 23% of the Eagles salary cap. Players on that unit under contract for next season now include Brandon Graham, Timmy Jernigan, Fletcher Cox, Michael Bennett, Chris Long, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Daeshon Hall, Treyvon Hester, Bruce Hector, and Joe Ostman. We all know how important the pass rush is in the NFL, as well as stopping the run. The Eagles were 6th last season in the NFL in stopping the run, and in 2017 they were 1st. The defensive line is a staple and the identity of the team, so bringing Graham back, the longest tenured member of the defense, and keeping that unit together was likely a priority for the Eagles.
Breaking Down the Contract
Despite a down statistical season, Graham’s impact on the defense is unquestionable. As long as he out on the field next to Cox, Bennett, and company, opposing offensive lines will have a ton to deal with. Graham is 30 years old, and his contract will take him until he is 33. Michael Bennett was perhaps one of the Eagles best defensive linemen this season at age 33, so locking Graham up for these prime years is a huge success for the team.
What This Means for the Eagles Cap Situation
The Eagles are cap strapped at the moment. In order to make more offseason moves, some decisions will have to be made. Players such as Timmy Jernigan, Chris Long, Nelson Agholor, Jason Peters, and Jason Kelce could see their contracts re-worked or the team could move on from them. Howie Roseman is the wizard however, so following how he goes about making some room will be a top storyline this offseason.