Jump to content

Do the Saints know something that we don't about TE Jimmy Graham


Cowboyz1
 Share

Recommended Posts

I just can't get my head around trading the most prolific TE in the game when healthy for a lineman. I just get the felling that this may be a Trent Richardson type of trade. Not as far as talent but might we see a similar performance drop off with the new team. Might the Saints know something about an injury or attitude that provoked them to trade him away.

 

I just can't see how they could do it without having some rationale that either his ability to perform or willingness to perform are compromised in some way. Seems to me that he was just too valuable a weapon for Brees to let go.

 

What do you think? Injury risk maybe?

Edited by Cowboyz1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

They didn't exactly get magic beans in return for him. Max Unger is a recent All Pro (2012) and they got a current year 1st round draft pick. They also got to dump a massive salary and contract.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Trading a TE at his peak, who can't block, from a team switching to a more traditional run offense makes perfect sense to me. Getting an All Pro run blocking center cements the switch in philosophy.

 

 

Huh, Sound........ :thinking:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brees is the kind of QB who makes his receivers look good - he doesn't need a super-stud TE like Graham to succeed, even though it's definitely a luxury. Just like any QB, he needs to stay upright and he needs at least a serviceable defense. From the Saints games I was able to watch last year, their defense looked absolutely atrocious. Their o-line was not very good. Out of his Graham trade, they got a beastly center (Unger) and a rookie ILB (Anthony) who will probably start on day 1. Those two together may make more of an impact than just Graham.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Salary cap hell can force your hand sometimes. They obviously want to change their entire philosophy. The biggest issue here is that Unger is quite overrated. He's only played 16 games twice in his career. He's a very smart player and a good leader, but he's never had the frame or strength to push around big nose tackles or DT's. He's one of the better centers in the league, but the all-pro label was absolutely ridiculous. He has never been a dominant type player.

 

I would also wonder about small locker room issues. The other weird thing is...of all the 32 teams, isn't Seattle the absolute worst fit for him?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that Brees was a big part of what Graham was. Like Rodgers, Manning or Brady, their receivers never fare as well away from their star QB. The last games that Brees played without Graham he went 275-5 (@PIT) and 342-2 (@DET). I worry about Graham's production falling much more than Brees even with a shift in offensive philosophy in NO.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

John Clayton reported Unger was going to be a salary cap cut and I speculate that Graham was in a somewhat similar boat. Seems like NO is taking a big shift away from dumping salary into a high powered passing offense and trying to upgrade their softer than hot butter defense. Unger is a good lineman, who seemingly misses as many games to injury as he plays.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that Brees was a big part of what Graham was. Like Rodgers, Manning or Brady, their receivers never fare as well away from their star QB. The last games that Brees played without Graham he went 275-5 (@PIT) and 342-2 (@DET). I worry about Graham's production falling much more than Brees even with a shift in offensive philosophy in NO.

 

 

 

Russell Wilson's pretty good too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Russell Wilson's pretty good too.

 

 

Hard to say definitely though since his three seasons have never produced any receiver with more than 66 catches or 898 yards. When he was a rookie, two wideouts had 7 TDs but since no one has managed more than 5. Wilson has never used anyone to make them much more than an average receiver so far.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Salary cap hell can force your hand sometimes. They obviously want to change their entire philosophy. The biggest issue here is that Unger is quite overrated. He's only played 16 games twice in his career. He's a very smart player and a good leader, but he's never had the frame or strength to push around big nose tackles or DT's. He's one of the better centers in the league, but the all-pro label was absolutely ridiculous. He has never been a dominant type player.

 

I would also wonder about small locker room issues. The other weird thing is...of all the 32 teams, isn't Seattle the absolute worst fit for him?

 

 

The first comment is kinda funny to me because it seems like every season for the past 4-5 years the Saints have reportedly been in salary cap trouble. Yet every year they are still able to manage it and still sign big contracts without losing much in the way of talent (see Byrd last year). I think a lot of that speaks to Mickey Loomis' ability as a cap manager and being one of, if not the best in the business. But I also think that the media makes more of an issue out of it than it really is. The truth is, the Saints only saved $2 million off the salary cap this season by trading Graham, so while salary may have been part of it, I don't think it was a major deciding factor.

 

I think your second comment is a much bigger part of it. The Saints, for the past few seasons have been trying to rebuild what they had in 2009, which was a balanced rushing/passing attack. They did a better job with that last season, but the offensive line play from a pass-pro standpoint was just bad and most of the pressure was from the middle. Brees has always been athletic & shifty in the pocket, but when he has to move because he has a lineman in his face he loses that deep threat ability and often had to ad-lib on the run. So, that said, Unger actually makes a lot of sense for them and the 1st round pick helps to improve the defense with Stephone Anthony who is already drawing comparisons to Jonathan Vilma.

 

As for Graham, himself, i think I've stated before that there are a lot of factors to be down on him this year & most of those also played a big part in this trade. Topping that list is his injuries. Graham get the label as "soft" and that may be true from a mental standpoint, but there is no questioning his physical style. Unfortunately his body hasn't been holding up over the past couple of seasons and I think the Saints are right to fear that he may be one more hit away from missing multiple games. Graham plays the middle of the field a lot and as a result takes a lot of big shots. Him being a big guy, it doesn't always seem to affect him physically, but he hides the injuries fairly well. Another factor is that teams have sort of figured him out. Teams have been doubling him and pushing him off his route.

 

Also, the one thing that gets lost in all of this is the fact that the Saints won in 2009 without Graham, so to think that they can't get back without him would be pretty short-sighted. They did have Shockey at the time, but he was far removed from the productive player he was in NY. I think that Josh Hill will be the next guy to step up in NO and I think that he will surprise a lot of people. He won't be Graham, obviously, but I think he will still make a good TE2. Oh, and he's a very good blocker too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Hard to say definitely though since his three seasons have never produced any receiver with more than 66 catches or 898 yards. When he was a rookie, two wideouts had 7 TDs but since no one has managed more than 5. Wilson has never used anyone to make them much more than an average receiver so far.

 

 

That's true but think it'd time to take the next step forward, so we'll see what he can do with better talent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Hard to say definitely though since his three seasons have never produced any receiver with more than 66 catches or 898 yards. When he was a rookie, two wideouts had 7 TDs but since no one has managed more than 5. Wilson has never used anyone to make them much more than an average receiver so far.

 

 

He's also had Golden Tate (a fine complimentary WR when playing opposite arguably the best WR in the game) and a trio of undrafted free agents as his top WR options during his career (and only UDFA's last year). Tate had lost ground on the depth chart and was on the verge of busting before Wilson arrived; GT got his wheels under him during Wilson's rookie year and continued to improve every year since. Seems like an awful selective litmus test to determine how good or bad RW is. RW only made an unknown commodity in Tate and other WRs not good enough to get drafted 'average?' :thinking:

 

How about taking 4th QB comebacks into consideration (I know I'm lofting a softball given their last offensive play in the superbowl)? He's got one more than Andrew Luck (10), and almost 1/2 as many at Tony Romo (24) despite Tony Romo playing 9 seasons as a starter.

 

Ignore everything he's able to do as a runner because that isn't what QB's are supposed to do?

 

But apparently it's hard to determine if RW is even worthy of good status because Ricardo Lockette, Jermaine Kearse, Doug Baldwin, and an emerging Tate haven't put up 100 catch - 1000 yard seasons during his first 3 seasons?

Edited by Bobby Brown
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not ignoring what Wilson does as a runner - that is the only reason he is worth owning in fantasy football really. I was merely pointing out that in three years, Wilson has never produced a top receiver of any kind. Ignoring how SEA has never used tight ends much, no wideout that played with Wilson ever ranked better than 33rd in catches or 30th in yardage. That is what I mean when I said average - they are indisputably mediocre numbers.

 

Look at what other quarterbacks did in their first three years. Quarterbacks make the receiver. That is why when receivers leave NE, GB, NO and such that they never do as well again. Tate spent four years in SEA, three with Wilson and was never better than any other starting WR in the NFL. He went to DET and ended with 99-1331-4 and his biggest games were always when Calvin Johnson was out injured. Most of Tate's success had nothing to do with Johnson - go look at the gamelogs to see when Tate was his best.

 

Wilson has never thrown enough to any receiver in his three years to make them anything more than very average at best. Maybe he will turn Graham into a catch and yardage monster but there is nothing so far that he has done to suggest there is not a significant dropoff coming. Hard to compare the quality of his receivers until they go somewhere else but Tate did and played much better with Stafford because DET throws the ball a lot. SEA ranks at the bottom of passing stats every year.

 

You can be optimistic about Wilson and that is fine. But until he has to throw the ball more than handoff and any SEA receiver actually breaks into the vaunted top 30, he has always produced mediocre receivers. 4th quarter comebacks obviously have almost no relation to his passing because all his receivers every year have been only marginally related to any wins. The WRs in SEA do less than about any other NFL team. Maybe they are catching that final TD. But they didn't do much the rest of the game.

 

So yeah, he not only produces average receivers but that is even a bit gererous.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So yeah, he not only produces average receivers but that is even a bit gererous.

 

 

There is no argument on my end that Seattle WR's aren't putting up good numbers. And as mentioned, Tate's numbers improved substantially during Wilson's first and second year, then continued to improve during his first year with Detroit.

 

Stafford likes to focus on primary receiving options moreso than Wilson has. Stafford had 7 games in 2014 where at least 7 guys caught passes. Wilson had at least 7 guys catching passes in 13 games. Stafford also threw 37.6 passes per game to Wilson's 28.3 (9+ more passes per game).

 

Wilson's willingness to complete passes to multiple targets also factors into the "no more than 66 catches and 898 yards." By logical extension of your metric, Stafford's habit of focusing on primary targets and not using the whole field makes him "good." Whereas Wilson's ability to use more targets and spread the ball around makes him a "bad" QB.

 

Given Wilson's other accomplishments and relative lack of talent for WR options, focusing on your metric of choice is specious. One someone would use who is invested in cherry picking data to talk down a player.

 

4th quarter comebacks obviously have almost no relation to his passing

 

 

:lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, BB... How close do you think JG will get to his stats from last season? Normal expectations if he were with New Orleans would put him at about 1100 yds and 12 TDs. My guess with Seattle is that he won't top 800 yds assuming he does not get hurt. The touchdowns may still be there, but I'm guessing 10 or less.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, BB... How close do you think JG will get to his stats from last season? Normal expectations if he were with New Orleans would put him at about 1100 yds and 12 TDs. My guess with Seattle is that he won't top 800 yds assuming he does not get hurt. The touchdowns may still be there, but I'm guessing 10 or less.

 

 

I'd say that's fair.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

Of course. I feel as though you are setting me up for some sort of clever ruse though.

 

Not at all. It just seems like you are arguing that there will be no drop off and your reasoning seems to be that Wilson is better than anyone gives him credit for. It almost seems like you're taking it as a slight against Wilson that everyone thinks Graham will do poorly in relative terms.
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not at all. It just seems like you are arguing that there will be no drop off and your reasoning seems to be that Wilson is better than anyone gives him credit for. It almost seems like you're taking it as a slight against Wilson that everyone thinks Graham will do poorly in relative terms.

 

 

Maybe I'm guilty of reading into one back and forth instead of considering prior discussion. I was simply taking "Hard to say" regarding "Wilson is pretty good" at face value without context. Mea culpa.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not buying into this theory that Wilson is less of a quarterback because he hasn't created a receiver with elite stats. It seems quarterbacks that run a lot rarely produce receivers with big numbers. My guess is that it is because when they go through their reads and no one is open, they run. Less mobile quarterbacks probably force the ball to their best receiver in the same situation. Forcing the ball to their best receiver will inflate that receivers numbers, but that doesn't mean it's more effective than the quarterback running.

 

Wilson's stats are pretty amazing for a 3rd year quarterback. He has never had less than a 63% completion percentage. Who cares if one receiver gets big chunk of those catches as long as someone is getting the catch. He has never thrown more than 10 interceptions. He has a 98.6 lifetime quarterback rating. Only Aaron Rodgers has a better lifetime quarterback rating. Wilson is elite, arguing otherwise is just foolish.

 

 

I agree with all of this, but I think my defensive homerism got the the discussion off its intended focus.

Edited by Bobby Brown
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not sure why it hit nerves whenever I point out that Wilson's passing stats have never been high. It seems to be a sore point I don't understand. I am not saying he is not a winner. I never said he was a bad QB. All I care about are stats that translate into fantasy football. He threw fewer passes per game than any other starting QB. That naturally spawns low completions and yards for him and his receivers. This thread is about Jimmy Graham. I said "Wilson has never used anyone to make them much more than an average receiver so far. " That is absolutely true. And it calls into question how much he will throw to Jimmy Graham. Why we are talking about 4th quarter comebacks I am not sure. Wilson certainly has his defenders. But I am not attacking him. I've owned him in several leagues even.

"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information