The Green Bay Packers are in the market for a tight end. Again. Now that the season is over, the team can potentially move on from both Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis. Two NFL journeymen who can perhaps remain serviceable under the right circumstances. It probably comes as no surprise to Packers fans, but Lewis on another one-year deal makes way more sense than handing Graham the money left on his current deal.
Graham has been paid handsomely by the Packers since 2018, earning $22 million over the first two years of a three-year contract. He is due $8 million in 2020, but luckily the team structured an easy out for the final year. All signs point toward Green Bay moving on from the former All-Pro, after watching his play under both Mike McCarthy and Matt LaFleur.
Graham’s 38 receptions for 447 yards in 2019 are his lowest totals since he was a rookie. His two touchdown catches in 2018 tied his career-low, also set as a rookie. According to his post on Twitter, Graham’s departure may be inevitable as he could call it a career after 10 seasons. Graham will turn 34 in November.
Certainly, Graham’s tweet can be interpreted in many ways, but he is probably smart enough to know his time with the Packers has run its course.
Graham was the butt of a lot of jokes in Green Bay, much of them deserved. His whiffs as a run blocker are burned into the memories of fans everywhere. As are his attempts to pick up yards after the catch when it is very clear he is nowhere near as nimble as he once was.
Yet again, it is time for the Packers to look in another direction at tight end. And hopefully adding another weapon to stretch the field while also developing last year’s third-round pick Jace Sternberger. However, that doesn’t mean shutting the door on Lewis completely.
In a limited role, Lewis is still a nice complimentary piece in LaFleur’s offense. His numbers weren’t gaudy, hauling in 15 receptions for 156 yards and a touchdown last season. Then again, Lewis was never much of a pass-catcher during his 14-year career, but his abilities as a blocker are still formidable.
Lewis plans to play next season but is going to be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. Reportedly, Lewis would like to return to Green Bay in 2020.
If the Packers can find the cap space after adding some more offensive weapons, a reunion could make a lot of sense.
___________________Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. He has covered the Packers for over five years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.