NFL Free Agency: 5 teams that should go after Jimmy Graham

Green Bay Packers

GREEN BAY, WI – MAY 29: Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham (80) watches a pass come to him during Green Bay Packers OTA at Clarke Hinkle Field on May 29, 2019 in Green Bay, WI. (Photo by Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Now that Jimmy Graham is set to be officially be cut by the Green Bay Packers, these five teams should give him a look.

The Green Bay Packers have gotten a lesser version of Jimmy Graham over the last two seasons, so a move to cut him was inevitable this offseason. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that move will come on Thursday, and Graham will immediately become a free agent.

In 2019, Graham posted the lowest catch (38) and yardage (447) totals since his rookie season. Entering his age-34 season he has clearly been diminished by Father Time, which led to a bit of speculation he might retire early in the offseason.

It appears Graham will keep playing, but the Packers will clear $8 million in cap space by cutting him (albeit with a $3.6 million dead money hit). Quite frankly, 2019 draft pick Jace Sternberger (if he’s healthy) can offer the same production as Graham did last year at a far lower rate.

Graham acknowledged his looming departure from Green Bay on Wednesday night.

Graham will now join a solid class of free agent tight ends, with a bit of a head start finding a new team. These five teams should now consider taking a chance on him.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger is coming off elbow surgery, and he just turned 38. He has fueled retirement speculation with his own comments before, so any season could be his last and 2021 is the last year of his contract.

The entire Steelers’ offense suffered after Roethlisberger was sidelined last year, and tight end Vance McDonald had a drop-off after posting career-highs across the board in 2018. The team is expected to pick up his $7.127 million option and keep him around, but with very little cap space to play with the idea Graham will come cheaper than that could be enticing for Pittsburgh.

It will take some maneuvering, and McDonald will have to be let go. But in a short window to win while Roethlisberger is still under center, the Steelers should be taking a look at Graham.

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