Eagles extend DE Brandon Graham

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles have begun preparing for the 2021 National Football League season by locking up a veteran presence of its defense for the near future.

Brandon Graham signed a contract extension through the 2022 season, the team announced Monday afternoon. Graham, a former first-round draft pick by the Eagles in 2010, was scheduled to become a free agent at the end of the 2021 season, but is now locked up through next season as well.

“At the end of the day,” Graham said, “this is where I want to be. I love the energy and I know we’re going to get things done around here.”

Graham is coming off a solid season for the Eagles, who missed the playoffs in Doug Pederson’s final season as head coach. The veteran pass rusher played in all 16 regular season games, while contributing eight sacks (the third-most in a season for Graham), 16 QB hits, and 46 combined tackles.

In total, Graham has played in 166 combined games for the Eagles, and has made double-digit appearances in 10 of his 11 NFL seasons. The 32-year-old’s return is a major plus for new head coach Nick Sirianni, who will aim to get the Eagles back to the postseason.

Graham will be joined by veteran center Jason Kelce, who is also expected to stay with the team through 2021. Longtime wide receiver DeSean Jackson was not brought back after the 2020 season while former No. 2 overall pick Carson Wentz was traded to the Indianapolis Colts. Jalen Mills was also released, but he quickly found a new home as he signed with the New England Patriots on Monday.

The Eagles will continue to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft as they hold the No. 6 overall pick.

You can follow Larry Henry on Twitter (@lhenry019) and e-mail him at [email protected].

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