3. Signing Jimmy Graham
The move: With arguably Gutekunst’s biggest move this offseason, he signed tight end Jimmy Graham to a three-year, $30 million deal.
Analysis: The Packers’ moves at tight end last year didn’t work out. Former GM Ted Thompson signed Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks, while letting Jared Cook leave in free agency.
Gutekunst has also signed two tight ends this offseason: Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis.
While Graham is the wrong side of 30 and might not be the same superstar he once was, he can still help the Packers’ offense improve. Aaron Rodgers now has a 6-foot-7 target who caught 10 touchdowns last season, tied for second-most in the NFL with Davante Adams.
All 10 of Graham’s touchdowns were in the red zone last year, according to Pro Football Reference, most in the NFL. No player had as many red zone targets as Graham, either.
It’s also fair to argue that Green Bay’s offense will suit his playing style a lot more than Seattle’s did. Don’t expect numbers similar to what Graham achieved on a regular basis in New Orleans, but he’s proven he can still play at a high level.
It’s the kind of signing that could turn a very good Packers offense into a great one. Time will tell.