We can officially take one pass rush option off the free agent market. The Philadelphia Eagles announced on Friday that they have signed defensive end Brandon Graham to a three-year contract extension. The deal is worth between $12 million and $14 million per year, according to NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport.
The 2019 free agency market has a lot of pass rush talent this year, but the top tier of talent was mostly expected to be given the franchise tag. That included names like DeMarcus Lawrence, Jadeveon Clowney, Dee Ford, Frank Clark, and potentially Trey Flowers. Graham only had four sacks last season, but was quietly a productive presence, ranking 27th in Pro Football Focus’ pass rush productivity stat. He might have found a bigger market if he had held off signing until the new league year, but he’s clearly happy in Philly.
The San Francisco 49ers need to improve their pass rush, and the soon-to-be 31-year old Graham would have been a solid veteran presence. Now that he has signed, if the 49ers plan on pursuing free agent options, the top of the list could include Dante Fowler and Ezekiel Ansah.