The lead pass rusher on the Philadelphia Eagles roster, Brandon Graham has had an amazing impact on the team’s roster since his arrival in Philly. With only two-years remaining on his previous contract and coming off a great season with the team, conflicting reports have emerged about Brandon Graham potentially sitting out the Eagles OTA’s and optional workout sessions.
While many of the first reports on the issue indicated that Graham was going to sit out due to his ongoing want for a new contract, new reports from those like Jason La Canfora now indicate that Graham is not having a dispute with the team and will likely show for the Eagles offseason activities.
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Reports of Brandon Graham contract dispute are unsubstantiated. Am told he's with his family in Detroit and eager for the season to start
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) May 10, 2017
Assuming that the initial reports are true and that Graham is attempting to cover his tracks, holding out would not be a bad idea for him. Payed less than some of his less performing colleagues, Graham may actually have some solid ground in his mind to stand on. While I do hate to see players hold out due to the fact that they should honor their contract, Graham has the footing needed to make a case here.
Add to this that While Graham’s contract expires after the 2018 season, he is coming off an extremely impressive 2016 campaign. Knowing that his value may be at it’s peak, Graham has a reason to try and cash in, extending his contract with the Eagles while also making sure he gets payed as one of the team’s best defensive lineman.
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The other issues that could be causing Graham to initiate this holdout is the Eagles recent selection of Derek Barnett. Adding a rookie defensive end with their first round draft pick, Barnett will be seen by many as the defensive line star of the future. With Barnett on the roster, the likely need and want to pay Graham after the 2018 season will likely be diminished.
With Graham’s value in Philadelphia likely to see a drop following the selection of Derek Barnett, Graham is likely to try and cash in on himself now. For this, I can’t really fault him, but I do hope that the process is quick and to the point.