There’s a disagreement in the media regarding the reason for the recent absence of Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham from offseason workouts, but there’s no disagreement regarding the fact that he hasn’t been there. Coach Doug Pederson addressed the situation on Friday, in a session with reporters held following a rookie minicamp practice.
“Listen,” the Andy Reid protégé said to start the answer, in classic Reid fashion, “I love Brandon, and obviously he and I have a great relationship. He’s been here. As you guys know, this is a voluntary offseason program, so a lot of this is out of my hands. But he’s a guy that is valuable to the football team and I’m not worried about him at all.”
It’s one thing for Graham to miss Phase Two sessions. Does Pederson expect Graham to be present when Phase Three arrives and Organized Team Activities commence?
“The expectation is would I like him here? Yeah,” Pederson said. “[Are these practices] voluntary? [Yeah], I got it. And that’s the hardest part as a coach is when you’re working on that type of schedule, it’s hard. But at the same time, he’s a guy that is a veteran player, understands his role, understands his assignment, and [we] expect big things from him this season.”
Graham has two years remaining on a four-year, $26 million deal. He’s due to earn $6.5 million each of the next two years, with none of it guaranteed.