Brandon Graham could mentor the Arizona Cardinals young pass-rushers
The veteran free agent-to-be could provide both a pass rush and leadership skills for the Arizona Cardinals defensive unit.
The Arizona Cardinals roster could look a whole lot different in 2023. There's a growing sentiment that the new regime will be making major changes to a Cards squad that posted an ugly 4-13 record last season.
New Arizona head coach Jonathan Gannon may want to surround himself with individuals he's familiar with in the desert. In fact, the defensive guru could attempt to recruit some talent from a Philadelphia Eagles group that was the NFL's second-ranked unit in 2022.
One player who Gannon could target has spent his entire 13-year pro career in the "City of Brotherly Love". Brandon Graham, a 34-year-old who is headed for free agency, could play an intriguing role with the Cardinals in '23. Can Gannon convince the accomplished pass-rusher to leave the only organization he has known since he entered the league back in 2010?
Brandon Graham could serve a dual-purpose for the Arizona Cardinals in 2023
Graham is fresh off of a solid performance for the Eagles defense last fall. In a complementary role, the 6 foot 2, 265 pounder tallied 35 tackles, 11 sacks and 16 quarterback hits in his 17 regular-season appearances for Philly. The Cards could use the vastly-experienced Graham as a situational edge-rusher, and there's also another purpose that the veteran could serve for Gannon's Arizona contingent.
In April of '22, the Cardinals added two outside linebackers during the third round of the draft. Cameron Thomas and Myjai Sanders, in a limited amount of playing time, showed an undeniable ability to get to the opposition's signal-callers. Unfortunately, former defensive coordinator Vance Joseph wasn't fond of utilizing rookies in his 3-4 scheme.
Graham could act as a mentor for both Thomas and Sanders if he elected to follow Gannon to the Cards. The pair of youngsters couldn't have learned much from the veteran trio that were ahead of them on the depth chart. Markus Golden, Dennis Gardeck and the departed Devon Kennard combined for just 3.5 sacks for Arizona last year.
Obviously, a long-term contract for Graham wouldn't make much sense at this point in his professional career. A one-year deal could potentially work for both parties, however. We're just a couple of weeks from knowing whether a union between the Cardinals and Graham has any chance of coming to fruition.
(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)