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RockyMountainSaint 07-09-2013 10:37 AM

Hernandez, Gronkowski struggles make Graham look even better
 
Hernandez, Gronkowski struggles make Graham look even better | ProFootballTalk
Sandwiched between tight ends Rob Gronkowski (round two) and Aaron Hernandez (round four) in the 2010 draft was tight end Jimmy Graham. A third-round pick of the Saints, Graham was the last tight end selected before Hernandez.

The Saints took Graham with pick number 95, and the Patriots took Hernandez 18 spots later. In between, four receivers were selected ó Mardy Gilyard (Rams; no. 99), Mike Williams (Bucs; no. 101); Marcus Easley (Bills; no. 107); Jacoby Ford (Raiders; no. 108).

Itís unknown whether the Saints wrestled with the choice of taking Graham or Hernandez. The red flags were well known, and Hernandezís history easily could have been a factor. But Grahamís limited football career likely was an issue, too. He played only one year at Miami. Hernandez was the far more established and experienced player.

Regardless of how the Saints made their decision, they settled on Graham. Of the three tight ends, heís the only one still laboring under his rookie deal.

From Gronkowskiís injuries and surgeries and party-boy tendencies to Hernandezís legal entanglements, Graham is looking like the best of the bunch. And the Saints need to acknowledge that with a long-term deal.

To his credit, Graham hasnít groused. But if the team and the player canít work out a multi-year contract, a franchise-tag fracas could be coming over whether Graham is a tight end or a receiver, given the number of times he lines up in the slot.

The best way to avoid that outcome would be to get a new agreement negotiated, and the best time to do it would be sooner rather than later. The cap is a problem for now; according to NFLPA records, the Saints currently have roughly $5 million in total space. But with all of their draft picks signed, the Saints wouldnít have to clear much space to do a long-term deal with Graham, since the signing bonus would be spread over multiple seasons.

Grahamís refusal to make a stink, publicly or privately, about his status puts less pressure on the Saints to take care of him. In turn, however, this attitude proves that Graham is far more worthy of the security than Hernandez, and possibly even more worthy than Gronkowski.

rezburna 07-09-2013 10:43 AM

Re: Hernandez, Gronkowski struggles make Graham look even better
 
I remember being upset and wanting Hernandez because every Miami game I watched Jimmy was dropping passes left and right. He still drops passes, but he's tapped into his potential.

NonieT 07-09-2013 11:02 AM

Re: Hernandez, Gronkowski struggles make Graham look even better
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rezburna (Post 510636)
I remember being upset and wanting Hernandez because every Miami game I watched Jimmy was dropping passes left and right. He still drops passes, but he's tapped into his potential.

Do you still want Hernandez?!!!!!!!!

TheOak 07-09-2013 11:28 AM

Re: Hernandez, Gronkowski struggles make Graham look even better
 
Jimmy Graham does not need Hernandez or Gronkowski to be hurt or go to jail to be the best in the NFL.

Not sure why Florio felt a need to frame this article in the way he did. off season i suppose.

|Mitch| 07-09-2013 12:15 PM

Re: Hernandez, Gronkowski struggles make Graham look even better
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rezburna (Post 510636)
He still drops passes, but he's tapped into his potential.

You do realize, he suffered with a fore-arm injury last year and had surgery this offseason?

I heard no one complaining about his drops when he set the TE receiving record the year before...

dizzle88 07-09-2013 12:36 PM

Re: Hernandez, Gronkowski struggles make Graham look even better
 
Jimmy struggled with dropped passes alot due to his wrist injury but i also think he had concentration lapses aswell

Alot of times when they replayed his drops, he took his eyes off the ball before it arrived - recipe for a drop right there

Jimmy pushes himself though and drew pushes jimmy - every little problem we had last year will be addressed

dam1953 07-09-2013 01:51 PM

Re: Hernandez, Gronkowski struggles make Graham look even better
 
The biggest thing that Graham has going over Hernandez and Gronkowski is the big "C"....Character.

Hernandez's "record" speaks for itself. Gronk doesn't have the criminal record....yet. Inside scoop is that the Gronkowski brothers have a reputation of letting the partying get seriously out of hand. This eventually catches up to you.

MatthewT 07-09-2013 01:51 PM

Re: Hernandez, Gronkowski struggles make Graham look even better
 
There is no doubt in my mind that Jimmy Graham will be the top free agent in the 2014 class. At a minimum he will be the highest paid TE in the league, and it is very possible he will be in that top 10 type of WR money.

TheOak 07-09-2013 02:05 PM

Re: Hernandez, Gronkowski struggles make Graham look even better
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MatthewT (Post 510653)
There is no doubt in my mind that Jimmy Graham will be the top free agent in the 2014 class. At a minimum he will be the highest paid TE in the league, and it is very possible he will be in that top 10 type of WR money.


Ill put a doubt in your mind.

Franchise Tag

Seer1 07-09-2013 07:30 PM

Re: Hernandez, Gronkowski struggles make Graham look even better
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TheOak (Post 510654)
Ill put a doubt in your mind.

Franchise Tag

Well played sir!


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