After being released by the Green Bay Packers, free agent tight end Jimmy Graham opts to sign with the division rival Chicago Bears on a two-year deal.
The Green Bay Packers decided to move on from tight end Jimmy Graham back on March 11. Less than a week later, Graham resurfaces on a new team within the division. The former star tight end for the New Orleans Saints will be joining the Chicago Bears on a two-year deal worth $16 million, $9 million of that being guaranteed.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report on Graham’s new football home. Entering his age-34 season, this has to be Graham’s decent contract in the NFL. Not since he was All-Pro in 2013 has Graham had a 1,000-yard receiving season. Though he had some success while he was with the Seattle Seahawks, Graham was not the answer the Packers were looking for.
But for the Bears, they need help at the tight end position in the worst way possible. This is a team that somehow, someway did not have a 100-yard receiver at the tight end position on their roster in 2019. This is a team who recently used a second-round pick on Adam Shaheen and spent a good bit of money on “Mr. Philly Special” Trey Burton in free agency. Da Bears….
Here are the contract details, the national reaction and a grade to Graham signing with the Bears.
Schefter reports it’s a two-year contract worth $16 million, $9 million guaranteed. Graham will now be under contract with the Bears through his age-35 season, making an average of $8 million annually. For that amount of money, he should be able to quadruple what any Bears tight end achieved in 2019. Matt Nagy is quickly realizing Travis Kelces don’t grow on trees.
This deal is not being taken well by the national media. Graham is old and growing increasingly ineffective. The Bears have more bad tight ends than they know what to do with. This feels like a panic move by general manager Ryan Pace after missing out on the Austin Hooper sweepstakes, who will sign with the Cleveland Browns after two Pro Bowl years with the Atlanta Falcons.
Will Graham be an upgrade for the Bears at the tight end position? Frankly, anything will be an upgrade for the Bears at the tight end position. It’s not as bad of a trade as what Bill O’Brien did by sending DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals for David Johnson, but this move won’t help the Bears get back to the Super Bowl before Graham finally decides to hang up the spikes.