Monday, November 30, 2015

The Jimmy Graham trade

It's only a little bit unfair to judge this now that Graham is out with an injury.  But his slow start in Seattle receiving and his well documented uselessness there blocking has to have been a disappointment from the Seahawks' perspective. 

Graham was traded for center Max Unger. And while the Saints' offensive line has been a disaster this year, few observers are blaming Unger for that. Also in the deal, the Saints received a first round pick which became linebacker Stephone Anthony. Anthony hasn't been perfect but he has looked good. Every game he makes at least one very impressive play. The T-P provides a statistical comparison.
Graham caught four passes for 75 yards before the injury. He began the game with 44 catches for 530 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games.

The Saints traded Graham in the offseason for two-time Pro Bowl center Max Unger and a first-round pick used to select linebacker Stephone Anthony. Anthony on Sunday became the first rookie linebacker to top 100 tackles for the Saints since Ricky Jackson in 1981.
Throw into that Ben Watson's numbers replacing Graham as the starter at tight end which are better than Graham's through this week. 50 receptions for 604 yards and 3 touchdowns. That's nowhere near on pace to match Graham's best seasons in New Orleans but pretty comparable to what he produced last year. 

Of course, Watson isn't the same sort of player Graham is.  The Saints don't use him to create match-up problems the way they did with Graham. Watson also isn't a long term solution at tight end since he'll be about 50 years old next season.  But overall, you have to say this trade worked out in the Saints' favor.. if little else did this year.

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