Before I start anything; let me be clear: I love Jimmy Graham. He has shown nothing but classiness (from what I’ve seen) over his young and bright NFL career. I love him as a player on the field and off because he has shown he is a role model. Now with that being said, I want to clarify kind of what I mean when I said a couple weeks back that the Saints should not retain Graham. I am hoping so bad that somebody signs Graham to an offer sheet at this point. In my honest opinion, one weapon cannot make an offense. I think the Saints are doing too much to retain Graham and I think the team will miss all the players that are being released more than we can all speculate.
The way I think is the same line of thinking that the movie that starred Brad Pitt, “MoneyBall” had in it. If you can get, say for example, 7 players (offense and defense) that have shown some level of productivity throughout their NFL career for the same price that you can get a Jimmy Graham, why wouldn’t you take that tradeoff? This line of thinking goes even further because of the QB that is taking the snaps in New Orleans. Drew Brees makes guys on offense good. Who was Lance Moore coming out of college? Who was Marques Colston? Hell, who was Graham? Undrafted, 7th round pick, and an outstanding, athletic but raw 3rd round pick respectively. I realize the same can’t be applied 100% to the guys on defense. Drew Brees can make the defensive players better in some aspects, but not as directly as he can on the offense in which he has complete command of. The situation down in New Orleans is frustrating because we are releasing guys who have been productive in the system and keeping somebody who has shown inconsistency over his young career. The worst part about it is I don’t know who else they will release. I feel like we’re all witnessing our favorite team crumble right before our eyes.
As I said in an article that was posted several weeks ago; I don’t agree with signing Graham to a huge deal because it will wreck the cap situation for the Saints for a couple years to come at least. At this point, 2 draft picks (more than likely for defensive players) are more useful to me than keeping a guy who may or may not play up to the enormous contract that he is likely about to receive.
Now, I don’t know the cap situation down to the dime, but I feel like I have a decent idea of where the team is at as far as how much money they have to spend. If the Saints jettison Graham, not only will they have a boatload more cap space to work with to improve the ENTIRE team, they will also have draft picks to play with over the course of 2 years. In season’s past, the Saints have done a fantastic job finding diamonds in the rough like Khiry Robinson (who I believe has found his place on this team), Lance Moore, Carl Nicks, Jahri Evans, Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham, Pierre Thomas, and I could even throw in Drew Brees due to the skepticism of him coming back from such a huge injury. The list goes on and on but one thing remains constant. Drew Brees. As long as he is behind center in New Orleans, I like their chances of success no matter who they have.