Jan 11, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) catches a pass during warm ups before the 2013 NFC divisional playoff football game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Should the Jets Consider Jimmy Graham?

Does the idea of this beanstalk to the right, catching passes for the Jets, make anyone else excited? I know the prospect is an exciting one in my opinion.

The curious case of Jimmy Graham continued this week, when the Saints gave him the expected franchise tag. Now, they have until July 15 to negotiate a deal with their star tight end.

They gave him the “non-exclusive” franchise tag. There also is the question of what position he will be tagged at. It’s a difference of approximately $5 million of Graham is tagged as a wide receiver as opposed to a tight end. If tagged as a tight end, Graham is figured to file a grievance with the union.

To summarize, teams are free to negotiate with Graham, but the Saints can match any offer made. If they choose not to match, the Saints would be entitled to two first round picks in return for Graham.

Should the Jets be a player in the Jimmy Graham sweepstakes? On its face, you would say absolutely not, and that is certainly a reasonable feeling to have. Two first round picks would be a huge price tag for any player in the sport. The idea could seem foolish.

But take another look at it before you say no. If you take a different look at it, it’s not the worst idea ever.

First off, the money is not going to be an issue. The Jets are going to have all kinds of money to play with, possibly near $50 million under the salary cap. Being able to make a competitive offer for Jimmy Graham’s services will not be a problem for the Jets.

Draft picks are not a guarantee of success, it doesn’t matter how high they are. There are great picks in the middle of the first round, and busts in the top five. Jets fans, have you met Vernon Gholston? Some of us have met Lam Jones as well? Just because they are a high draft pick, it doesn’t guarantee they will be successful.

Then there is Jimmy Graham:

Receiving Rushing
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS Rec Yds Y/R TD Lng R/G Y/G Att Yds TD Lng Y/A Y/G A/G YScm RRTD Fmb AV
2010 24 NOR te 80 15 5 31 356 11.5 5 52 2.1 23.7 1 3 0 3 3.0 0.2 0.1 359 5 1 3
2011* 25 NOR TE 80 16 11 99 1310 13.2 11 59 6.2 81.9 1310 11 1 13
2012 26 NOR TE 80 15 9 85 982 11.6 9 46 5.7 65.5 982 9 1 8
2013*+ 27 NOR TE/wr 80 16 11 86 1215 14.1 16 56 5.4 75.9 1215 16 0 11
Career 62 36 301 3863 12.8 41 59 4.9 62.3 1 3 0 3 3.0 0.0 0.0 3866 41 3 35

Now we read those stats, and have seen them on the football field. This is one terrific player in Jimmy Graham, and one that would instantly improve the Jets’ offense over 100 times over. He is only 27 years old, a lot of good football is left in that guy. The argument isn’t unreasonable to say that Graham would be better than any first rounder the Jets could choose.

Say the Jets do give up a first round pick each season. It’s one pick. One. The Jets will likely have 12 in the upcoming draft. Their draft would not be crippled by giving up one pick, even if it’s the first one. It would likely be a similar result in 2015.

Basically, they could get Jimmy Graham, and still have terrific drafts.

The bottom line is this, should the Jets make this move? It depends on the price, and how they evaluate the draft class. But, it isn’t as bad as it sounds, and would anybody really be upset if Jimmy Graham was a Jet next year?

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Tags: 2014 Nfl Draft Jimmy Graham New York Jets Nfl Free Agency

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