Packers Morning Buzz: Was signing tight end Jimmy Graham a mistake?
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.
We'll start with analysis from Pete Dougherty and Eric Baranczyk regarding Packers tight end Jimmy Graham's red-zone issues.
Pete and Eric write:
Brian Gutekunst, the Packers’ general manager, knew the risks of signing Graham to a three-year deal that averages $10 million and is paying Graham $13 million this season. Graham is in his early 30s, which is always a concern, and after averaging 89 receptions and 11.5 touchdowns in his final four seasons at New Orleans, his averages had dropped to 57 catches and six touchdowns in three years with Seattle.
But Graham also been miscast with the Seahawks, a more run-oriented team that often used him as a blocker even though he’s basically a glorified receiver. And he caught 10 touchdowns last season, so he at least was a big factor for the Seahawks in the red zone.
But Graham has only one touchdown catch this season. A double-digit score total is quickly falling out of his reach.
Yes, he has often drawn extra coverage in the red zone, which has helped some of the Packers’ other receivers. And he ranks second on the team in receptions (22).
But defenses have been routinely jamming and chipping him at the line of scrimmage, and it has worked. He’s just not explosive and athletic enough anymore to avoid or shrug off those shots and get downfield. And when he had the chances to come through Sunday with a shorthanded receiving crew and against single coverage, he just didn’t have it.
You can read the whole column, which gets into other topics, here:
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