In a matter of days since the NFL calendar has reset and free agency has commenced, there have been a surprising number of moves by a hand full of the NFL’s premiere players and teams. Early Tuesday afternoon that trend continued as Jimmy Graham, a 4th round draft pick, from the New Orleans Saints, was exchanged for the rights to Max Unger and a 1st round draft pick owned by the Seattle Seahawks.
Graham, who is considered one of the league’s elite tight ends and pass catching threats, caught 85 balls for 889 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2014 for the Saints. A year in which the three time Pro Bowler missed snaps (but not games) due to injury.
The saints receive two-time Pro Bowl center (2012 & 2013) Max Unger in addition to a 1st round pick and considerable cap relief. Last year, the Saints signed Graham to a four-year $40 million contract of which most is guaranteed to the 28 year old Greensboro native.
Though the Seahawks will be without a first round draft pick for the third consecutive year, they are expected to again contend for an unprecedented third consecutive NFC title & Super Bowl appearance during the 2015-’16 season.
Adding arguably the leagues best red zone threat to the previously unknown receiving core will do nothing but improve one of the NFL’s dominant teams.
Sidenote: An interesting storyline to keep track of is the relationship between star defensive end, Michael Bennett and the newest edition at tight end (positions that will be seeing a lot of each other in practices all season). Bennett had some scathing comments on his opponent turned teammate… I wonder if his tune will change now that they’re wearing the same uniform. Check out the damage below!