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Brandon Graham wins inaugural MVP Award 

Brandon Graham
Brandon Graham

Brandon Graham has already set the franchise record for most games played. He signed a contract extension to return for a 15th season, which will set a new team benchmark.

The former first-round pick and the longest-tenured professional athlete in the City of Philadelphia now has another honor to add to his star-studded resume – MVP.

The Philadelphia Visitor Center will recognize Graham with the inaugural Most Valuable Philadelphian Award on Monday night at the Philly Opener extravaganza at Independence Visitor Center, an event to kick off the tourism season previewing the can't-miss experiences this summer in a festive pep-rally-type atmosphere.

"It is an honor to be recognized by the Philadelphia Visitor Center as the inaugural recipient of its Most Valuable Philadelphian Award," Graham said.

"Since being drafted by the Eagles in 2010, Philadelphia has been my home. I'm very fortunate to have experienced some of the best moments of my life here. It is where Carlyne and I started our family. Philadelphia has given so much to us over the years, and for that, we are forever grateful. Serving this community has always been important to me and it is something I will continue to do for many years to come."

On Saturday, Graham and his wife, Carlyne, received honorary degrees from Saint Joseph's University for their community work not just in Philadelphia, but in their hometown of Detroit through their foundation Team Graham. Brandon Graham was recognized by the Eagles for his impact on the community by being named as the team's nominee for the league's prestigious Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, presented by Nationwide, in 2022.

"Throughout his career, Brandon has exemplified everything it means to be a Philadelphia Eagle," Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie said at the time of the nomination. "His relentless passion and commitment to making a difference, not only on the football field, but in the community is inspiring. A fierce competitor on the field, Brandon pours his heart and soul into the game for his team, city, and fans.

"He's beloved not just for the way he's persevered through adversity, but because of the way he embraces everyone he meets with such kindness and love. His infectious personality radiates throughout our entire building, and it's certainly touched the lives of many across the world.

Brandon and Carlyne Graham each received an honorary degree from Saint Joseph's University.
Brandon and Carlyne Graham each received an honorary degree from Saint Joseph's University.

The gregarious Graham, who serves up smiles to everyone and makes acquaintances feel like best friends, delivered the greatest play in franchise history when he strip-sacked Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LII. The Eagles extended their lead and held on to win the first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history.

"I've been asked about that play, I'd say, more than a million times," Graham said, laughing, "and I love it every time someone says something about it to me. Making that play and winning that game meant everything to me, this team, and the Eagles fans."

As Graham embarks on what will be his final NFL season, he wants to leave the team – and the city – better than when he first arrived in 2010.

"I wish the days could slow down. I am cherishing every moment, because I don't know how many more I'm going to get," Graham said. "I'm just going to be pouring into the guys, trying to get them to realize what they got in front of them, that these opportunities don't come often when you got a good team, so let's take full advantage of the moment."

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