Report: Jimmy Graham won't return to Seahawks
RENTON, Wash. -- Jimmy Graham is set to be an unrestricted free agent on March 14 and it appears the Seahawks won't be inking a deal to keep the tight end in Seattle.
Graham and the Seahawks are "expected to part ways in free agency," according to a report Monday from Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. Pelissero reports that Graham will have several suitors, including the New Orleans, who traded the 6-foot-7 pass-catching threat to Seattle in 2015.
After a catching a team-high 10 touchdowns -- all in the red zone -- in 2017, Graham made the Pro Bowl for the second straight season and fifth time overall (he chose not to participate this year due to injury). However, his 520 receiving and 9.1 yards per reception were some of the lowest marks of his career.
Still, it is believed that Graham, 31, would be too expensive for Seattle to retain going forward. He recently finished the final year of the four-year, $40 million contract he signed with New Orleans in 2014.
Both coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have expressed a desire to keep Graham in Seattle, though Pelissero's report suggests that any extension talks have stalled at this point.
Tight ends haven't seen lucrative paydays like the one Graham had in 2014, making it somewhat difficult to project his market value. The estimates range from $6-8 million per year, however that would require Graham settling for a drop in pay after finishing second in the league in touchdown receptions. There's also the matter of Graham's age; teams may be hesitant to offer a long-term deal to a player turning 32 in November.
If Graham does indeed walk in free agency then that would be the first major domino to fall for Seattle, which has decisions to make regarding free agents Sheldon Richardson and Paul Richardson, potential extensions to consider for Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas, while awaiting medical updates on Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor.
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