It doesn’t sound like Brandon Graham is planning a holdout this offseason. The Eagles defensive end reported to the team facility this morning, as Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com writes. He also spoke with Howard Eskin of 94WIP on Tuesday and referred to rumors of a holdout as “fake news.”
Graham is in the middle of a four-year, $26MM contract signed with the Eagles in 2015. In the last two years and particularly in 2016, he has outperformed his deal. Graham would probably like to be paid near the top of the DE market, but he doesn’t have a ton of leverage in that regard since he still has two years to go on his pact. A holdout, in theory, could put some pressure on the team, but the 29-year-old seems prepared to play out 2017 with a cap number of $7.5MM.
As Shorr-Parks notes, the additions of first round pick Derek Barnett and free agent Chris Long could impact Graham’s stat line which, in turn, could impact his bottom line. The advanced metrics portrayed Graham as one of the best edge defenders in the entire league last season, but he only had 5.5 sacks on the year. If his snap count goes down, his sack total might also sag. Without gaudy totals on his traditional stat sheet, he might not have enough juice to get a big extension next offseason.
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