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Brandon Graham lands on the Ringers’ “Hypothetical Trades” list

2 July 2018 Eagles News

Last week, the Ringer‘s Dan Kelly added DE Brandon Graham to his “Hypothetical Trades” list as one of the 9 trades that should happen in the NFL.

DE Brandon Graham, Eagles → 49ers
Let’s say, just for a minute, that the cap-strapped defending champs decide they can’t afford to sign Graham, 30, to a long-term contract extension now or in 2019. In that case, their next two options are to (1) ride out the final year of his contract and maximize their shot at winning a second consecutive title before letting him walk in free agency—thus getting relatively little (a 2020 comp pick, maximum) in return or (2) think big picture, and trade him now for high-value picks and some much-needed cap relief.

I know what I’d do (Super Bowl LIII or bust, baby), but with the 25-year-old Carson Wentz locked in as their franchise quarterback, the Eagles brass should be thinking about the long-term health of their roster and salary cap, too. That’s where the 49ers—cap- and draft-pick rich and not afraid to make a big splash—come in. San Francisco’s got plenty of interior pass-rush talent, but they don’t have a proven elite edge rusher like Graham. If they threw a 2019 second-rounder and more Philly’s way, Howie Roseman may have to consider it.

While “high-value picks and some much-needed cap relief” sounds interesting, I’m dead set on Super Bowl LIII or bust! Something we have reiterated on the 4thandjawn podcast over and over again: “There is nothing above the repeat.”

In 2017, Graham played the most snaps of anybody on the defensive front, playing 65 percent of the snaps for the Eagles defense. With a defensive line already missing Vinny Curry, Beau Allen (via free agency) and Timmy Jernigan(due to injury), it makes absolutely no sense to move on from Brandon Graham at this point. Having a veteran leader, who is a terror off the edges, is highly valuable to this defensive unit.

Although I appreciate the creativity from the Ringer, this trade scenario is highly unrealistic in my book. The Eagles aren’t about to trade a player who made one of the biggest plays in Eagles’ history away, maybe letting Graham walk away off in the sunset after this year would be more debatable.

From the video below, could something be in the works for a new deal? Maybe Dan Kelly missed this one: