Packers Expected to Retain Graham in 2019

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Packers are expected to bring back tight end Jimmy Graham for another season. The 32-year-old veteran signed a three-year contract prior to the 2018 season which gave Green Bay an easy out after one year. If the Packers cut Graham before March 15th they would save $5.3 million towards their salary cap. Instead, it seems they expect more from the former All-Pro under new head coach Matt LaFleur.

Graham had 55 catches for 636 yards and just two touchdowns last season after hauling in 10 touchdowns in 2017. The Packers had lacked a big play tight end for some time before Graham showed up but his contribution was underwhelming. He and Aaron Rodgers didn’t form much of a connection seeing that the aging tight end appeared to have lost a step and Rodgers dealt with injuries pretty much the entire year.

Graham’s sluggish route running and next to nothing contribution as a blocker made us believe his time in Green Bay might be up after one season. The Packers offense struggled mightily in 2018, especially in finding big plays over the middle. Something that used to be Graham’s specialty.

However, with tight ends Lance Kendricks and Marcedes Lewis set to hit free agency in March that may have pushed the team to retain Graham. Without him, the only tight end under contract would have been Robert Tonyan who played only 67 snaps on offense last season.

LaFleur’s presence certainly factored into the equation as well as he installs a new offense. Former Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy never emphasized tight end’s in his system so there’s a reason to believe Graham may play a larger role in 2019.

Fans would probably be happy with anything more than what he provided in his first season with the Packers.

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Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. Brandon graduated from Longwood University in 2016 with a degree in mass media. He has covered the Packers for over two years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.

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9 thoughts on “Packers Expected to Retain Graham in 2019

  1. Good… definitely under performed but we gotta stop doing one and done shit. Never should have let Cook go after 1 year. Hoping Graham’s 2nd year will be a good one… if not then we move on.

    1. I agree about Jared Cook. The catch he made against Dallas in the playoffs I thought assured him being kept for another year. Loved seeing the Packers bring Graham to Green Bay and I thought McCarthy would wear him out with pass attempts across the middle of the field. I can’t wait to see what LaFleur and Rodgers are able to do working together with a new offensive scheme and establishing a running game to open up the passing game and being a balanced offense.This team has talent already and I like what I’ve heard of possibly bringing Tevin Coleman to the backfield.

  2. I keep hearing fans saying that we shouldn’t waste a first round pick on a TE. I say to them look back over the last 6 years of first round picks and tell me one that hasn’t been a waste other then Kenny Clark. C’mon people there’s some real talent this year at TE and our offense has been truly missing a big play tight end since Finley was forced to retire with injuries. Remember Bubba Franks. He wasn’t a wasted first round pick. I believe the 30th pick would be ideal for T.J. Hochensen or his teammate Fant. There’s also Irving from Alabama.

    1. TE looks really strong at the bottom of Round 1. I’d love getting one of those guys.

      Of course, OLB and RG should also be major considerations, so BPA between those positions and TE works for me.

      1. I here you Panda and I can’t wait to see the combine again this year. Being retired I have too much time on my hands and love to watch the combine from start to finish. Hochensen jumps out at me so far and Irving of Alabama. I know the combine will open my eyes to another one or two TEs. Looking back over the last five years or so at first round draft picks for the Packers blows my mind. Perry,Datone Jones,Clinton-Dix,Damarious Randall,Kenny Clark and Zaire Alexander. Well,King was our first pick in the start of round two when we passed on T.J.Watt. At least three first rounders aren’t even with the team anymore and only Dix made the pro bowl once. Kenny Clark is a home run hit!!! That being said why not shoot for a stud tight end at 30??? Since we’ll be going defense for the sixth year in a row with the BPA at EDGE. Packers fan since 1965 and Nitschke was my MAN. GO PACK GO!!!! Let’s utilize a fresh start at coaching the offense and knock this draft out of the park!!!!

        1. I’m all for a tight end. But honestly, I wouldn’t turn down a good right guard, either. There are some really, really good guys coming out who would dominate there. And thank you for mentioning Irving–he’s not getting the hype he deserves.

  3. I never wanted us spending money ANYWHERE last off-season, as we should have been in full rebuilding mode. I hated the Graham signing from the start.

    That said, cutting him now–as with Perry–would be too large a dead money hit. Keep this mistake one more season.

  4. I’d like to see another season with Graham. The entire Packer offense stunk for a Rodgers led team not just Graham. McCarthy’s system fell flat & never utilized the TE position very effectively except for Finley but he was more of a WR talent like Graham use to be. Lets see what Lafleur can do with him while Pack develops his replacement…

  5. With 6 picks in the top 112 we should be able to address EDGE,TE,Guard or Tackle or both,Safety,Running back,and slot receiver. This years draft and with free agency in March we could be well on our way to both rebuilding and retooling a 2019 playoff team.

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