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Eagles' Brandon Graham 'expecting big things' from new addition Saquon Barkley

Saquon Barkley's move to Philadelphia was just the latest example of the classic, made-for-TV switching of sides in a rivalry.

Veteran Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham is just glad he doesn't have to chase Barkley around the field anymore.

"You just can't let him hit the hole, that's the biggest thing," Graham said Monday, via the New York Post. "Once he hits the hole, he's a home run hitter. I know for Saquon, he always was the guy you don't want to see with daylight."

Entering the 2024 offseason, it was unlikely Barkley would remain with the Giants, who chose to pay quarterback Daniel Jones $160 million over four years in 2023 while franchise tagging Barkley to keep him in New York. After a season played under the tag, Barkley solicited offers from outside suitors. A familiar foe won out, luring Barkley across the Delaware River to Philadelphia.

Graham still can't believe his eyes.

"It sucked for the Giants fans because that's like us losing our top guy," Graham said, laughing. "I understand business is business, but I know Saquon definitely is looking forward to this season."

Barkley's move was the latest result of a running back market in which only a small group of players receive more than $10 million per year. After signing a three-year, $37.75 million deal with the Eagles, we can count Barkley among them.

Giants fans might look at Barkley's departure as a blessing in disguise. Running back isn't a position in which most teams invest heavily, due to the demonstrated lack of durability for most who fill that role. It's just not a wise investment in 2024, but that doesn't mean Barkley will suddenly fall off a cliff -- even if Giants fans are already telling themselves that to soothe their disappointment.

"We know that people are pissed about it," Graham said. "They hope that nothing comes of it. I know that's how mad some people are about it."

Barkley's own career trajectory has seen highs and lows. After breaking onto the scene early in his career, injuries derailed Barkley's journey, and it wasn't until a surprisingly successful 2022 saw the Giants reach the playoffs that folks took Barkley seriously again.

That wasn't enough to convince the Giants to pay Barkley to stay. Now, he's making quality money with a team that has higher expectations. And Graham can't wait to see the results.

"I guess you're going to have to find out," Graham said. "I don't want to predict nothing, but I know we do have a good squad and I'm expecting big things."

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