No, Brandon Graham Will Not Loan You Money

No, Brandon Graham Will Not Loan You Money

The NFL lockout isn't even official yet, and already some players are broke. A couple of Eagles reportedly attempted to tap MAC at the Bank of First Round Rookie Bonuses, but were denied.

Brandon Graham admitted at least two teammates have approached him for money, one of them requesting a six-figure loan. The defensive end has not been willing to oblige.

“I’ll be like, ‘What are you going to do with it, other than blow it?’ I don’t want to be beefing with guys on my team because they owe me money.”

“They try not to make it awkward. They’ll come to you like they’re joking, but they’re serious. They’re trying to feel you out, to see what you’ll say.”

This despite the Players Association actively warning its constituents to create "lockout funds" for over a year, not to mention educational programs the league has run for years advising players how to manage their income.

Can't say that I blame him. Sure, he hit the lottery coming out of college with $14 million guaranteed, but the minimum salary in the NFL is $300,000, and something tells me Chad Hall wasn't the one hitting up Graham for cash. Plus, few things can create a stronger rift between two people faster than a disagreement over money.

Both the author of the story and ProFootballTalk believe Graham's story speaks to a larger problem for the players. If they can't hold it together before the checks ever stop coming, what's going to happen to some of these guys during a protracted lockout? Or to the significant number of rookies and free agents who were counting on large bonus checks over the next few months? Going to be hard to negotiate with any leverage while DeSean Jackson is pulling shifts at Burger King.

So, the natural thing to do now is begin speculating who these degenerates are that can't get their house in order. You know, so I'm prepared for the moment when they start knocking at my door. No, Asante, it's all tied up in investments right now.

>> NFL Players Ill-Prepared For Lockout [Philly Sports Daily]
AP Photo

Carson Wentz further asserting himself as Eagles' leader in Year 2

Carson Wentz further asserting himself as Eagles' leader in Year 2

It's not like Carson Wentz wasn't a leader last year. 

He was. 

From the moment the No. overall 2 pick arrived at rookie camp in May, those leadership qualities the Eagles discovered during the pre-draft process were immediately on display. Wentz is a natural leader at a position that necessitates it. 

So in his rookie season, he led. 

"I thought that was all kind of natural, things naturally happened," Wentz said. "Yes, I was a rookie but I don't think that I was by any means quiet. I wasn't just the guy that rolled with the punches and went with it. I thought I was still doing my job as a leader as well. But the longer we're playing this game and the more experience we have, the more we can just step up our leadership as well."

If Wentz was a leader in his rookie season, he's really a leader now.  

Last year, he arrived to the Eagles' offseason after the whirlwind of the NFL draft and admitted on Tuesday that he "didn't really know where the locker room was." Hard to lead when you don't know where to get changed. 

And throughout last spring, he was the team's third-string quarterback preparing for a redshirt season until he was thrust into the starting role after the Sam Bradford trade, just a little more than a week before the start of the season. 

A year sometimes makes a huge difference. 

This year, he's the guy, the face of the franchise, the unquestioned leader of the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles. 

"There’s definitely a poise about him," receiver Jordan Matthews said. "You can tell it’s not like last year when he was thrust into the position. He knows his role, he knows he’s the guy, and I think there’s a sense of confidence that comes with that, a sense of poise that he handles extremely well. I’m excited to see what he does this whole offseason and what we’re going to do moving forward."

Wentz is the Eagles' leader on and off the field. He's planning on getting together with his receivers and skills position players again this summer, something he thinks will become an annual trip. 

Earlier this month, Wentz took his offensive linemen out for a day of shooting guns and eating steaks (see story). He bought his entire line shotguns last Christmas. 

It might not seem like a summer get-together or a trigger-happy trip would help the Eagles on the field, but it might. After all, the team's being closer certainly won't hurt. And Wentz, 24, is the guy facilitating all of it. 

Then there's the way Wentz leads on the field. He's always had control of the huddle, but with more time in the offense, he knows what he wants. Center Jason Kelce said the more knowledge Wentz gains of the offense, the "more comfortable (he is) voicing [his] opinion." 

"And I think that he's definitely asserting his style on the offense," Kelce said. 

For the most part, Wentz had a pretty good season as a rookie, flourishing early, hitting a long rough patch, and then finding his way out of it. He ended up throwing for 3,782 yards and set an NFL record for completions as a rookie. 

The Eagles this year, and in the foreseeable future, will go as far as Wentz leads them. 

"They say the biggest jump is from year one to year two, so him just knowing what’s coming, he looks like a vet already," offensive tackle Lane Johnson said. "Pretty extraordinary."

Sir Charles and Shaq made things personal last night and it was fantastic

Sir Charles and Shaq made things personal last night and it was fantastic

Shaq always has the trump card -- and by that we mean championship rings -- to throw in Charles Barkley's face. But with that said, Sir Charles is probably a much better trash talker and therefore has a superior mouth to defend himself with and throw barbs back in Shaq's direction.

The mouthy duo got into it a bit last night and it teetered between fun and lighthearted and a little personal.

Shaq attacks Chuck for only playing in one NBA Finals and therefore not really knowing what he was talking about. Charles claps back at Shaq for having ridden Kobe and Dwyane Wade's coattails. 

During an NBA playoffs that has been mostly boring, at least these two can still entertain us.