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March 01, 2019

Eagles sign Brandon Graham to a three-year contract extension

Eagles NFL

In a surprise report from Indianapolis, the Philadelphia Eagles have re-signed defensive end Brandon Graham to a three-year contract extension, before he ever had a chance to test the free agent waters.

Heading into 2019, the Eagles should once again have a strong defensive end rotation, that currently looks like this:

 LDEBrandon Graham Chris Long Daeshon Hall 
 RDEDerek Barnett Michael Bennett Josh Sweat 

To be determined on the statuses of Michael Bennett and Chris Long, who are both aging vets, but still productive. They are both under contract in 2019, but their respective standings with the team could now be in question with the Eagles being able to retain Graham.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Graham will average $12 million to $14 million per year. 

A week ago, we predicted that Graham's value on the open market would be something close to four years for $48 million, so a three-year deal between $12 million and $14 million makes sense.

Graham is still a very good starter who plays a premium position, especially in the Eagles' defensive scheme, which relies heavily on its defensive linemen to get pressure on the quarterback without the aid of blitzes. 

While he will turn 31 in April, Graham doesn't have the same wear and tear on his body that other defensive ends his age do, because he played far fewer than 50 percent of the team's snaps for the first five years of his career, and as part of a rotation for the last four:

Brandon Graham Snaps Snap % on defense 
 2010Data N/A (played in 13 games, started 6) Data N/A 
 2011Data N/A (played in only 3 games) Data N/A 
 2012421 40.2% 
 2013323 26.8% 
 2014499 43.1% 
 2015856 70.6% 
 2016765 75.0% 
 2017666 64.6% 
 2018753 72.5% 

As Howie Roseman noted in January, this upcoming draft class could be "historic" along the defensive line. While their need to continue to fill the pipeline with pass rushers remains, the Eagles' urgent need for one is lessened to some degree with this move.

MORE: Why do analysts keeping giving the Eagles cornerbacks in mock drafts? | Eagles left some level of doubt on a Jason Peters return in 2019 | Report: Eagles open to trading WR Nelson Agholor

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