The Rich Get Richer with Seahawks’ Trade for Jimmy Graham

In a shocking move yesterday, the New Orleans Saints sent Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham and a fourth  round selection to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for starting center Max Unger and the 31st pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

This trade sent shockwaves throughout the league including Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees who had this to say to the NFL Network.

“I’m as shocked as everyone else. I love the guy.”

Maybe Brees should have thought about the repercussions of his decision not to restructure his 22 million 2015 cap hit and Graham would still be a saint.

The Saints are coming off a 7-9 season filled with atrocious play by their defense and a sputtering offense that struggled with an injured Graham.

Despite dealing with a nagging shoulder injury that hampered Graham the majority of the season and led to a career low 10.5 yards per reception, he still managed to catch 85 passes for 889 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Seahawks tight ends combined for 48 catches the entire 2014 season and were not even targeted by quarterback Russell Wilson in their Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots.jimmy graham

Saints head coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis definitely felt the biggest changes this offseason should be to upgrade the defense that ranked 31st in the league out of 32 teams. Yet, it is hard to imagine how giving up the 28 year old Graham is going to improve the Saints instead of regressing. The only thing it did was provide some extra cap space that could be used to bring in a defensive upgrade that will not offset the loss of Graham to the Saints’ offense.

Graham is the latest former basketball player to make a smooth transition to the NFL after future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates of the San Diego Chargers. He was drafted in the third round in the 2010 draft out of the University of Miami where he played basketball for four years and took graduate classes for a year while playing tight end for Miami’s football team. Graham is a three-time Pro Bowler and selected All-Pro in 2013. In his five year career, he has caught 386 passes for 4, 752 yards and 51 touchdowns. He was by far Brees’ favorite target especially within the red zone where he was virtually unstoppable when out leaping opponents to make the catch.

The loss of Graham is the Seahawks’ gain, and nobody will benefit more from the trade than Wilson who has never had a dominant tight end in his arsenal of weapons. This duo can light up the scoreboard like Brees to Graham has the last five seasons.

The Seahawks made out on this deal and distanced themselves a little further from NFC opponents looking to make it to next year’s Super Bowl. Anything less than a Super Bowl win next year for the Seahawks will be a disappointment.

And that’s… as I see it!

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