Eagles great Brandon Graham opens up about end-of-career plans

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Graham opens up about end-of-career plans originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

No one, not even legends etched in franchise history, plays forever.

Which is why even though Brandon Graham says he feels as good as he did this time last year following a devastating Week 2 Achilles injury during last season, the Eagles great is also thinking about how he'd like to wrap up his career.

It's better to be prepared, right?

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Graham joined JAKIB Media's "Sports Take" show Wednesday to talk about a bunch of things Eagles-related, and at multiple points he addressed his future with the team.

Here are a few excerpts that stood out:

On his role this season

"I'm here right now, I've got another opportunity. It's the last year on my deal, they're gonna honor me for this year, and whatever role it is man just enjoy it. Because you didn't have football last year, you had time with the kids, and you still got one year left of the football if that's what you choose to do. And I'm like, man, I'm about to enjoy it."

On how much more he'd like to play

"Three more seasons."

On whether he'd play elsewhere

"You know what? I would. But it would only be probably for a year. The kids are together right now and they're settled, so that always - I know they wouldn't up and leave right away - so being away from them and the family, that would only probably last a year. We'd see how it works out, but I'd probably end up playing 14 [years] instead of 15. My goal is to finish on 15 if I could, as an Eagle."

It sure sounds like the 12-year vet is eyeing the end of the road, eh?

Graham, who turned 34 this past April, wasn't showing any signs of slowing down in 2020 - his most recent full season - when he made his first career Pro Bowl by notching 8.0 sacks, 16 QB hits, 13 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. He was a man possessed.

But following an Achilles injury and a season away from the game, it's not clear where Graham will be when he returns to the field. And even if he's close to his former self, the Eagles have to be mindful of the future when constructing their roster after 2022. Graham counts for $9.4 million against the cap this season, and while he probably won't expect that same figure (unless he balls out this season) he will still command some fair money on the open market.

So it's fully possible 2022 is Graham's final ride in midnight green, and that he could be playing for a different organization in 2023.

I don't fault him at all for the decision, but that is going to feel extremely weird.

Of course he'll almost certainly do the one-day deal retirement thing with the Birds and come home for proper sendoff, so it doesn't really matter. But still - something to get ready for as 2022 bears down on us.

Enjoy BG this year, because it might be his last one in Philly.