JIM MOORE

Moore: Packers’ Jimmy Graham could have revenge game against Seahawks

Jan 8, 2020, 11:30 AM
Former Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham...
Jimmy Graham joined the Packers in 2018 after three seasons with the Seahawks. (Getty)
(Getty)

No one’s talking him this week, and it’s easy to see why. Former Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham has had another lackluster season, certainly not worth the $10 million the Packers are paying him.

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In his second season with Green Bay, Graham had 38 catches for 447 yards and three touchdowns, wrapping up his year with 10 catches in five December games. Remember when he used to routinely get 10 receptions in a single game in New Orleans? Those days are likely gone forever.

But I’m still concerned about possible damage Graham could cause to the Seahawks’ playoff hopes this Sunday at Lambeau Field. Why? Because the Seahawks routinely get torched by tight ends. It’s one of the many weaknesses in their defense. It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-string tight end or a backup tight end or maybe even in the case of Graham, a nearly washed-up tight end whose better days are way, way behind him.

I also wonder if Graham might have a little extra motivation this week, perhaps wanting revenge of sorts against a Seattle team where his career went downhill. It’s funny to say that it went downhill when you look at this three-year stats with the Seahawks: 170 catches for 2,048 yards and 18 TDs. You could even say he had a good season in 2017 since he was frequently successful in the red zone, scoring 10 TDs.

But he was never the player that Seahawks’ fans hoped he’d be, the one who was so spectacular in New Orleans, averaging 89 catches, 1,100 yards and 11 TDs in his last four years with the Saints. Most people thought the Seahawks gave up too much to get him – center Max Unger and a first-round pick.

And then we watched, game after game, month after month, as the Seahawks tried to incorporate him into the game plan, seeming like they were trying to force feed Graham, and most of the time it didn’t really work.

So he left for Green Bay as a free agent following the 2017 season, and everyone thought he’d rejuvenate his career with Aaron Rodgers, but that hasn’t been the case. His biggest game of the 2019 season came in a loss to the Eagles in September, coming up with six catches for 61 yards and a touchdown.

We occasionally had Jimmy Graham sightings on the field with the Seahawks but rarely heard from him in the locker room. I felt like we never got to know him. Most of the time, when I read his body language, it looked like a guy who wasn’t happy to be here. Injuries and age have caught up to the 33-year-old now.

But for no particularly good reason, I still feel like Graham could be a key player for the Packers on Sunday.

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