Seattle- Tight end Jimmy Graham, the Seattle Seahawks’ prized offseason acquisition who was supposed to revitalize the team’s offense in the red zone, caught just one pass for 11 yards on two targets in Sunday’s 27-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Afterward, according to NFL.com’s Michael Silver, it was obvious Graham was upset by his lack of involvement in the Hawks attack.
Silver said that while the 28-year-old wouldn’t go as far as calling for offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s job (like Marshawn Lynch’s mother Delisa did last week), he “clearly wasn’t thrilled” after Sunday night’s defeat.
“Normally a cooperative and amiable interview subject, Graham dressed in an area of the locker room not accessible to media, emerged with his head down and headphones on and brusquely walked toward the exit, declining to stop when I got his attention,” Silver wrote. “I can’t be 100 percent positive, but I strongly suspect he was avoiding an interview because he feared he might say something overly negative. Let’s keep an eye on his situation going forward.”
Let me say this, It wasn't Jimmy Graham's idea to get traded from New Orleans to Seattle. I'm sure he would have been plenty happy continuing his extremely successful career as a member of the pass-happy Saints. I have no doubt that he fancied playing with Drew Brees, a quarterback that was so adept at placing the ball in areas where he could make a play on it. On top of that, when you are traded to a new city you are basically required to verbally embrace that opportunity. Especially when that opportunity means you continue to receive your $10 million dollar salary. With that said, it seemed like Jimmy Graham went out of his way to slight the Saints, a team and offense that turned him from a raw basketball player to one of the most dynamic weapons in the history of the tight end position, over the offseason. It seemed like every week he was clamoring about how he wasn't asked to block in New Orleans (which he wasn't because it was evident he was, and still is, terrible at it). He was prattling on about how he would receive less 3rd down double teams playing in a less predictable offense in Seattle. So, while I still have a lot of love for Jimmy Graham, and I don't necessarily blame him for being upset, I am certainly not shedding any tears over his underwhelming start with the Seahawks. There was just one too many soundbites that irked the average Saints fan, so seeing him struggle when he thought the transition would be seamless is just a little bit vindicating.
Are we just going to ignore the elephant in the room or should we pay it some mind? I realize it has only been two games, and that is nowhere near enough time for players to get acclimated to a new system. However, as of now, this transaction is shaping up to be one of the worst high profile trades in NFL history for both teams involved. While the Saints weren't exactly an offensive powerhouse last year, they are even worse this year. Their struggles to convert red zone opportunities into touchdowns have been far too evident, and it would be silly to ignore the fact that they lost one of the premier end zone targets in the NFL in Jimmy Graham. Not only that, but even with the addition of Max Unger, a Pro Bowl center, they still can't create running lanes or pass block effectively. To make a bad situation worse that inability has resulted in a bruised rotator cuff for their franchise quarterback. Meanwhile, in Seattle, the Seahawks REALLY can't block anyone, and their failure to get the ball to Jimmy Graham efficiently has been on of the reasons for their 0-2 start. As of now the only bright spot to come from this trade is Stephone Anthony, the quick, athletic linebacker the Saints selected with the first round pick they received from Seattle. There's still alot of time left for the pros and cons of this deal to work themselves out, but as of now both teams are winless and struggling in areas that they sacrificed by making this trade. Maybe these teams need to just a build a little chemistry, but it appears that there is a distinct possibility that this is one of those moves that looks far better on paper.