After falling short of expectations the past two seasons, NFL.com lists Jimmy Graham as a strong cut candidate this spring.
Signing Jimmy Graham in 2018 didn’t come without a few risks. Were the Packers paying for the name and past production of a five-time Pro Bowler? Or would signing him to a big deal pay off with Graham fixing one of the team’s biggest offensive needs?
Two years on, and the former proved to be true. General manager Brian Gutekunst has taken some swings in free agency the past two offseasons, hitting big with pass rushers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith, while also making good additions at positions of need with Adrian Amos and Billy Turner.
Signing Graham, however, was a mistake. The former Saints and Seahawks tight end failed to make an impact consistently and his best moments were few and far between. He showed up with three big-time catches in the divisional-round win over the Seahawks last month, including the game-clincher, but overall, it’s been a disappointing two seasons in Green Bay.
When Graham signed, he was coming off a 10-touchdown year in Seattle. The Packers hoped they were getting a dominant red-zone target. But Graham has since put up just five touchdowns combined in the past two years. In terms of receiving touchdowns, he’s had two of his three worst seasons while with the Packers.
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com listed which players he believes are strong candidates for release this offseason. At number four was Graham.
And it makes a ton of sense. Not only has Graham not performed well enough given his contract, but he’s also due to have another big salary cap hit in 2020. According to Over The Cap, Graham’s cap hit next season will be $11.67 million, the sixth-highest on the team. By moving on, the Packers would pay a dead cap hit of just $3.67 million, creating a saving of $8 million.
The Packers may look for more help at tight end to complement second-year Jace Sternberger, but it sure looks like Graham’s time in Green Bay could be coming to an end.