Philadelphia Eagles debate table: Brandon Graham must be re-signed

Brandon Graham (55) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Brandon Graham (55) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

Has it been eleven long Philadelphia Eagles years already?

Eleven years is a long time to do anything. Eleven years in the NFL feels like dog years sometimes. Just ask any Philadelphia Eagles fan. It was eleven years ago that their team has a decision to make, and during 2010’s NFL Draft, the Eagles faced with that dilemma after they traded up in the first round and were sitting on the clock.

There were several options available for the 13th-overall selection. Earl Thomas was one of them, and he was the guy that several analysts thought Philly would take.

One of those analysts was Mike Mayock of the NFL Network (now the general manager of the Las Vegas Raiders). The idea made sense. Thomas could fill that void at safety left by the Eagles’ decision to move on from Brian Dawkins.

Well, everyone that knows anything about this team knows what happened next. Philly ignored Thomas and went with a smallish defensive end, Brandon Graham, who cut his teeth in the Michigan Wolverines program. Eleven years later, that’s a decision that has worked out fairly well for this organization. He’s still productive, maybe more than he’s ever been. Meanwhile, Earl Thomas doesn’t play for anyone.

B.G. looks like one of those old guys the Philadelphia Eagles should retain.

Brandon Graham, like Vinny Curry, DeSean Jackson, and Jason Peters is one of those guys that can say that he’s played for Andy Reid, Chip Kelly, and Doug Pederson. Graham is one of the old guys now, but even in his 11th season (all with Philly), his story is different.

Some have wondered if this is his final run with the ‘Birds’. If it is, he’s going out with a bang. After seven games, he’s registered six sacks on the season. Keep two things in mind. One he’s never registered more than ten sacks in a singular season (he had 9.5 in 2017 and 8.5 in 2019), so it’s safe to assume that this will be the year. Second, he’s a freak of nature. He’s gotten better with age and has shown no signs of slowing down.

There are many reasons to speculate that this might be his final 16 regular-season run by ’55’ in midnight green. He’s 32 and turns 33 next April. He makes a lot of money, and the Eagles have a well-publicized salary cap issue heading into 2021. Letting Graham walk can help with that. Honestly, watching DeSean Jackson, Jason Peters, and Alshon Jeffery limp around would make many argue that Philly needs to let Graham go so that his deterioration won’t come while wearing the midnight green.

Did we mention that B.G. is a freak of nature? He defies the laws of football and might be the exception to the rule. Graham is still one of the most productive players on this team. Fletcher Cox gets all of the glory. Graham has never been voted to a Pro Bowl, but ask any ‘Birds fan, and they’ll tell you. They know his value, and this team is better with him than they are without him. Graham may not make the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he’ll wind up in the Eagles Hall of fame for sure.

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Weighing age versus value is always hard, especially in the current NFL. It’s sometimes tricky to determine whether or not it’s time to let someone go. Let’s answer the question about B.G. now. Philly can’t be swayed by what happened with Jeffery, and Jackson, and Peters, and even Darren Sproles. ’55’ has a lot of good football left in him, and if the coaches and the organization are wise, they’ll do what it takes to make sure that Brandon Graham plays all of that football in the ‘City of Brotherly Love’. At this point, seeing him in another jersey would be an injustice.