Who is the Most Loyal Athlete in the City of Philadelphia?

Who is the Most Loyal Athlete in the City of Philadelphia?
Fact Checked by Thomas Leary

Philadelphia sports fans hold a notorious loyalty towards their teams, but that loyalty is not always reciprocated by players and management.  

With constant roster turnover now the norm in professional sports, PennStakes.com sought to identify the athletes that have demonstrated the most devotion to the City of Brotherly Love using a points system they created. While our main focus here is typically Pennsylvania sports betting, stay close for research items such as this as well. 

Each current Philadelphia athlete was awarded two points for every season spent in the city, two points for every contract signed with a local team (with an additional two points for every contract of three or more years) and four points for any contract adjustments taken to free up additional payroll space while playing here.

The final results were heavily skewed towards one team.

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Top 3 Most Loyal Athletes in the City of Philadelphia

Rank Player Team Consecutive Seasons with Team # of Contracts # of Contracts Over 3 Years # of Pay Structure Changes Points
1 Brandon Graham Philadelphia Eagles13 3 3 246
2 Fletcher Cox Philadelphia Eagles11 3 2 344
T-3 Jason Kelce Philadelphia Eagles12 4 3 142
T-3 Lane Johnson Philadelphia Eagles10 3 3 342

Brandon Graham Takes The Title

Given the Phillies and Sixers rebuilds over the past decade, it is unsurprising these rankings are dominated by Eagles. 

Longtime members of the Birds offensive and defensive lines swept the top spots with the longest tenured athlete in Philadelphia, 13-year veteran and Super Bowl LII hero Brandon Graham, claiming the No. 1 position.  

The Eagles selected the 34-year-old defensive end out of Michigan with the 13th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and he has not stopped harassing quarterbacks since. After completing his initial five-year rookie contract, Graham signed multiple long-term contracts to stay with the team and has now appeared in 172 games for the Eagles, fifth most of any player in franchise history. 

Center Jason Kelce ranks as the sixth-longest tenured Eagle of all time, but defensive tackle Fletcher Cox jumps him on this list despite one less season in Philadelphia due to Cox’s willingness to allow the team to restructure his contract two extra times compared to Kelce.  

Both men have cemented their status as franchise legends, with Kelce earning five Pro Bowl nods over his career and Cox six, but the additional flexibility provided by Cox’s contract changes at a more premium position has proven invaluable.  

Offensive tackle Lane Johnson has played in over 40 less games than the other three players mentioned, but the star blocker’s loyalty shines in the number of times he has altered his contract for the organization. Like Cox, Johnson has thrice allowed the Eagles to shift his payments in order to help keep the roster stocked with talent.

And with four playoff appearances for the team in the last five seasons built upon this foundation of strength in the trenches, these moves appear to have paid off. In fact, over at BetMGM Sportsbook PA, this year's Eagles team is +600 to win the Super Bowl, behind only the Chiefs (+400) and Bills (+450).

Currently injured Flyers center Sean Couturier came the closest to making this list among non-Eagles.

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Josh Markowitz is a freelance writer for PennStakes.com. He is a lifelong sports fan with an emphasis on basketball, football, baseball and the scouting/evaluation process. A graduate of Elon University's School of Communications, Josh also has experience in television production.

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