The longest tenured athlete in Philadelphia is staying put in 2023.
The Eagles and Brandon Graham have agreed to a one-year deal that will bring Graham back for his 14th season, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia.
The one-year deal is worth up to $6 million, ESPN’s Tim McManus reported.
Graham, who turns 35 next month, probably could have made more money on the open market but it’s really hard to imagine him ever putting on another uniform. This way, he gets a solid deal and the opportunity to make at least one more playoff run with the Eagles.
"I definitely don't want to miss out on this championship that we're about to make a run for," Graham told ESPN. "I pretty much directed [agent] Joel [Segal] just to get a deal done before free agency so I wouldn't have to go through that part. I'm just so happy everything came to fruition.
"It wasn't even about no money. It was more about wanting to be an Eagle as long as I could still play at a high level, and of course I still have a sour taste in my mouth on how things ended this last year."
It’s not like this is a move based in sentimentality either. Graham in 2022 became a part-time player but he flourished, even coming off an Achilles tear that ended his 2021 season early. Graham played just 43% of the Eagles’ defensive snaps in 2022 but played every game and set a career-high with 11 sacks.
In 2023, the Eagles will go forward with Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat as their starting edge rushers but having Graham back as a solid third option in the rotation is a big boost. They also still have Derek Barnett under contract; Barnett tore his ACL early in the 2022 season.
The Eagles drafted Graham in the first round back in 2010 out of Michigan and the early portion of his career didn’t go to plan. Many folks even called him a bust and that label lingered on him.
But eventually Graham overcame all that, becoming a starter, a Super Bowl hero, a Pro Bowler and one of the most popular Eagles in recent history.
In 2023, Graham will tie Chuck Bednarik for the most seasons played in an Eagles uniform with 14. Graham has said before that his goal is to play 15 years in the NFL.
And Graham has already played 178 games in an Eagles’ uniform. That’s fourth-most in franchise history but he has a chance to be No. 1 if he stays healthy this upcoming season.
1. David Akers: 188
2. Brian Dawkins: 183
3. Harold Carmichael: 180
4. Brandon Graham: 178
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