Exchanging Brandon Graham would be a gigantic mix-up by Eagles | Gistaszone

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Exchanging Brandon Graham would be a gigantic mix-up by Eagles

Posted By: Oladiti Atm - April 01, 2018

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The acquisition of former Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett has sparked a lot of speculation regarding the Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive line. With limited salary cap space, adding Bennett to a roster that is already $11 million over the cap means someone will have to go.

Add in the fact that Philadelphia has limited draft picks in 2018, and it becomes clear that a trade is imminent. Moving a player who will fetch a Day 2 pick in next month’s draft, in addition to clearing cap space, is the ideal situation.

The idea of trading defensive end Brandon Graham has come to the surface recently. Graham is in the final year of a four-year, $26 million contract that he signed with the Eagles in 2015. Graham’s cap number is $8 million this year, but Philadelphia would get $7 million in cap relief if they traded or released the veteran.

Parting ways with Graham would be a colossal mistake for the Eagles. He was one of their most disruptive players last season. Graham led the team with 9.5 sacks and made perhaps the most clutch defensive play in franchise history, a strip-sack of Tom Brady in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LII.

Graham is continuously harassing quarterbacks. He is capable of making plays off the edge or as a bull-rushing defensive tackle.

Few defensive ends are able to have the same impact as Graham in run defense. He sets the edge aggressively and comes down the line to make tackles on plays that are designed to go away from him.

Trading Graham would rob the Eagles of a player who is a tone-setter both inside the locker room and on the field. The players always talk about the culture that is prevalent in the locker room.

A lot of the positive vibes in the locker room come from Graham. He became a mentor for rookie defensive end Derek Barnett last year. When Nelson Agholor was going through the worst of his struggles in 2016, it was Graham that spoke up on his behalf, calling him a future difference-maker.

Graham lights up a room when he walks in. Often it’s his locker that the media flock to after a tough loss. He became a vocal leader for the team over the last couple of years.

In practice, Graham stands in the center of the huddle, offering words of motivation. His high-energy approach to practice and on game day is something that other players feed off of.

Trading Graham would not likely fetch a Day 2 pick (second or third round), so what good would it be to part ways with a player that has become both a fan favorite and the life of the locker room?

Granted, draft picks have value, but the player that Philadelphia would get draft isn’t likely to have the same impact. There will be cap space that can be cleared up in ways other than trading Graham.

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