NFL Free Agency- Stay or Go: Brandon Graham

The Philadelphia Eagles have 20 free agents heading into the NFL offseason according to contract supersite Sportrac.  

Of the pending free agents, 13 of 20 were key contributors to the Eagles run towards another Lombardi Trophy.   

The staff from Sports Talk Philly –editors Paul Bowman and Michael Lipinski and Eagles writers Jennifer McGraw and Maranda Jo Shinn– have decided to play a game of “stay or go” with Jeffery Lurie’s money!

The crew deliberates on defensive end Brandon Graham.

Photo Credit: Brad Mills/USA Today Sports

Name: Brandon Graham

Position: DE

Age: 35

Acquired: 2010 NFL Draft

Achievements: 2020 Pro Bowl, 2017 NFL Top 100, 2021 NFL Top 100

2022 Regular Season Stats: 17G/1GS, 11 sacks, 2FF, 1PD, 35 tackles, 11 TFL

Market Value: $5.7MM/year

Potential Contract: 1-year/$5.7MM


Comparable players based on Sportrac’s formula for age, contract status, and statistical production.

Calais Campbell2$12,500,000$6,250,00035
Mario Addison2$7,700,000$3,850,00034
Justin Houston1$3,500,000$3,500,00033
Carlos Dunlap1$3,000,000$3,000,00033

Paul Bowman, STP Editor: Coming off a career-high in sacks, it’s really only Graham’s age that will hold him back from getting a mega salary this offseason. He missed nearly all of 2021 due to injury and it may just be a matter of time before Graham’s career is over due to further injury. That will likely keep the yearly commitment down. While there’s been reported interest from Jim Schwartz and the Browns (unsurprising), I can’t see the Eagles letting the longest tenured player in Philadelphia walk, particularly when he isn’t showing signs of a decline. Graham seems to have an interest in playing at least two season and I’d expect Howie Roseman to offer him something like a three to five year deal with void years on it to bring Grahams cap hit to something a fraction of what a first-round pick at the position would cost.

Verdict: Stay

Michael Lipinski, STP Editor: There’s no disputing that BG is the heart and soul of the Philadelphia Eagles defense.  But that doesn’t mean the organization should be blind to the fact that Graham is getting older and is a year removed from a serious injury.  Normally, I’d be advocating to cut bait with this type of player before they fall off a cliff but that’s not BG.  Graham had his best season as a professional thanks to an aggressive defensive line rotation.  That rotation will likely continue next season under new DC Sean Desai.  With all the changes coming to the Birds’ defense they will need the steadying hand of BG.  BG stays, and likely retires an Eagle, unless someone swoops in —lookin’ at you Cleveland— and offers him a boatload of money. 

Verdict: Stay

Jenn McGraw, Eagles Writer: Brandon Graham is a crucial piece of the Eagles defense. Not only did he have an exceptional comeback year that could’ve put him in the Comeback Player of the Year conversation, but he’s just as incredible of a leader off the field. Graham is a no-brainer for the Eagles to re-sign. He’s one of the best in the league and needs to continue helping the Eagles younger defensive guys evolve. For that reason, the Eagles should get the job done to keep him in midnight green.

Verdict: Stay

Maranda Jo Shinn, Eagles Writer: Despite having a smaller role in 2022, Brandon Graham racked up 11 sacks in just 474 snaps. A perfect complement to the speed of Sweat and Reddick on the edge, Graham wins each battle with power, proving he can still play despite his age. Adapting perfectly to a more part-time player role has proven to be beneficial on this end of the ball. He not only wants to stay in Philly, he deserves it. It only makes sense for us to keep the legend, and to watch him retire the right way: in an Eagles uni.

Verdict: Stay

Consensus: Stay

It’s no surprise that the first rumors of a re-signing are coming about Graham as a player who is coming off an incredible season and has already spent more than a decade with the team.