On Monday, Eagles defensive end Brandom Graham created the impression that he possibly would be willing to give his current team a hometown discount. On Tuesday, Graham made it clear that’s not the case.
“I love Philly but I owe it to myself and my family to explore free agency,” Graham told PFT by phone on Tuesday morning. “I’m in the business of doing what’s best for my family. I need to explore the market.”
Fueling Graham’s intent to make it to the market is the reality that the Eagles had been trying to get Graham signed to a new deal for a while, but that the offers hadn’t been deemed to be good enough by Graham. Now that he has completed his contract and carries no further injury risk, Graham can shop himself to the highest bidder.
“I’m a little disappointed that we tried the last couple years and couldn’t get a deal done,” Graham, a first-round pick of the Eagles in 2010, emphasized.
Graham’s contract becomes relevant because the Eagles’ season ended sooner than Graham and the team would have preferred. Graham explained that he believes the Eagles had the Saints on the ropes, and he knows that if he’d managed to recover the ball after forcing a Drew Brees fumble late in the first quarter, a field goal or a touchdown pushing the score to 17-0 or 21-0 may have become the dagger for the home team.
Eleven months ago, Graham delivered the dagger in Super Bowl LII, with a Tom Brady strip-sack that sealed the Eagles’ first-ever Super Bowl win. Whether he’ll continue to make such timely plays in Philly or elsewhere remains to be seen.