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Eagles want to sign Brandon Graham next, but he’s resisting


during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on November 5, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Mitchell Leff

As the Eagles try to lock up as many of their key players for as long as they possibly can, one key player isn’t as eager to sign a long-term deal as the team wishes he were.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, veteran defensive end Brandon Graham has been pushing back on efforts to ink him to a new contract.

Signed through 2018, the 2010 first-round pick is earning $6.5 million in salary this year. Next year, he’s due to make $6.75 million.

Graham currently has a career-high seven sacks, with five games to play.

So why not take a long-term deal? Because the market, and the salary cap, continue to go up and up. Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon cashed in a couple of years ago at $17 million per year, and Graham may believe that forcing his way to the market -- or worst-case scenario to the franchise tag -- is better than whatever the Eagles are offering.

But the Eagles are expected to keep trying. From defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan to receiver Alshon Jeffery to Graham and beyond, the Eagles hope to manage their cash and cap dollars in a way that holds together the nucleus of the team with the best record in the league well in to the future.