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Railbird Central Podcast: Tag Talk & Debunking Jimmy Graham Rumors

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Railbird Central Podcast: Tag Talk & Debunking Jimmy Graham Rumors

Episode 368

With the NFL's deadline for issuing franchise and transition tags on Monday, I go into detail why the transition tag is an option for Shields, although perhaps not a likely one. After that, we get into Adam Schefter's opinion that the Packers could sign Saints tight end Jimmy Graham to an offer sheet and give up two first round draft picks.

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Brian Carriveau is the author of "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America" and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (40) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

number1pack's picture

wow Jimmy Graham a nother sb for the pack we could not be stoped.

Drealyn Williams's picture

Who was the starting TE for the 2010 Superbowl?

GrEEn KniGhT's picture

When was the last time a team won a SB with an elite TE? Pats with Gronk? Broncos with Thomas? Chiefs or Falcons with Tony? Chargers with Gates? Or Saints with Jimmy????

Hank Scorpio's picture

Ted Thompson unload the truck on a free agent TE AND surrender (2) #1 picks for the privilege of doing so?

Uh, count me among the skeptics on that one.

4thand1's picture

Not a chance in hell.

Clay's picture

Yes I don't know diddly but that sounds outrageous.

Last year the Pats shut him down with one on one physical play, and he didn't do much against the Seahawks either. It's a slight Finley upgrade at like 5X the price!

He's good but no way in hell worth that IMO.

Where does Schefter get stuff like that?

Jordan's picture

He's worth it in my opinion. Hope it happens.

gbslapshot's picture

I agree with you that it is in no way worth it for the Pack to get Graham...but to say that he is only a slight upgrade over Finley is just craziness.

Jordan's picture

Why is it not worth it?

Packers would essentially be using their 2014 first round pick on a young ALL-PRO. It's only going to cost them their 2015 first round pick.

Packers got unlucky their 1st round pick on Harrell and still made NFC championship in 2007 and won Super Bowl in 2010 with Harrell on IR almost the entire time he was a packer and a non-factor. It was almost as if the forfeited that pick.

TT over came that. TT also overcame 2nd round busts in 2008 of Brohm and Pat Lee since packers won 2010 XLV. (When he traded down in 2008).

I have confidence in TT that he can overcome the loss of a 2015 1st round pick.

Graham is going to make everybody better on offense (including O-line). Running game will be even better due to his threat...fReceivers will love it. Play action will be killer.

Hank Scorpio's picture

It's not worth it because the Packers have Aaron Rodgers.

With Rodgers, the Packers are going to be a good offense. I won't go so far as to say no matter who else they have on offense but assuming a reasonable support cast, the offense will be fine. Jimmy Graham would make it marginally better. At a tremendous cost. A cost that could otherwise be applied to upgrading an atrocious defense that is a much better bang for the buck.

Cold, Hard, Football facts refers to receives as "hood ornaments"...shiny objects that pretty things up but serve no practical function. That may be a bit over the top. But only a bit. Especially with an elite QB.

Jordan's picture

Well the last three playoffs losses:

2011 giants----packers offense scores 20 points at Lambeau.

2012 49ers---packers offense scores 17 plus a meaningless garbage TD with less than a minute to play for total of 31 at candlestick actually shields scored 7 points

2013 49ers-----packers offense scores 20 points at Lambeau.

I need to forget about how the packers offense plays in playoffs and just focus on regular season stats against weak defenses like you guys. Not sure what I was thinking.

Stupid saints franchising that all pro hood ornament jimmy graham. Those guys are idiots.

Hank Scorpio's picture

I'm not so sure Graham would have made any difference in any of those playoff games.

The simple fact is that elite QBs thrive with pass catchers that are even slightly above average. I've watched Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers make too many average players look like stars to buy into the notion that Jimmy Graham will make any kind of significant incremental difference over much cheaper options. Certainly not enough to justify the cost.

Nopainnogain's picture

it's not only costing a first rounder. it would cost a boatload in cap space as well. The offense is good enough as it is. Top 5 or higher just about every year. How much better can it be? There is only one ball to go around and we already have Cobb and Nelson and Lacy. Maybe it'd be worth it for a team that doesn't have any weapons, but on an offense like GB's, there'd be diminishing returns.

Maybe you have a top-2 offense instead of top-5, while the defense is still in shambles. If TT is willing to spend that much, he might as well go get Byrd. Alot more room for improvement on that side of the ball, and the offense will be good either way.

Clay's picture

I hear you Slapshot. Even if he is a substantial upgrade I think we agree it is not worth it. For me I lost belief in Graham when the Saints played Pats. I live here in New England and love watching the Pats lose.
Aquib Talib bumped Graham at the line all day and basically took him out of the game easily.
I'm not impressed and the Pack def doesn't need a player like that.
Big mouth Richard Sherman said as much the other day...that Graham is soft. Maybe he has bigger number than Finley, but under the bright lights against the best defenses, I don't think he is that much more impactful.

Drealyn Williams's picture

You also have to look at it like this; if a defense is putting their best CB on the opposing team's TE that means their WR corps is pretty average. Now,I'm not buying into acquiring Graham,but do you think any defense would be placing their best CB on Graham while facing the Packers????

Clay's picture

Interesting Drealyn, but I don't think the Saints receiving corps is average.

I just think Graham is an amazing receiver, hence the Saints utilize him so much...but to restate NOT so great that he can break a defense.

Drealyn Williams's picture

Their receiving corps is just "alright". Look at their stats. The Saints have TWO RBs with over 70 catches. Wow! I like Colston,but c'mon,his best days are pretty much right behind him. Opposing teams are doing all that they can to take Graham out of the game. Sean Payton is just a hell of a play-caller and Brees is a hell of a QB that continues to make things work.

Evan's picture

I couldn't believe Schefter would tweet such nonsense. Worst idea I've heard in a long time.

Jordan's picture

Totally disagree. Great idea.

Clay's picture

Jordan what about the cap implications?

Gotta pay the guy insane money.

Best offense in the history of the NFL was just held to 8 points in the Superbowl.

I'll take Rodgers with Lacy and a solid receiving corps PLUS a championship defense over a "high flying" overpaid offense any day.

We can't have our cake and eat it too.

Jordan's picture

It's going to help the defense too. Defense can pin their ears back because we'll be playing with a lead.

Evan's picture

The offense is already among the best in the NFL without him and that hasn't translated to a better defensive performance.

Evan's picture

Pure nonsense.

The Packers already have a top 5 offense (in fact, a better offense in 2013 without Rodgers for 8 games than the Saints with Graham)...Jimmy Graham's impact on the win/loss column would be marginal at best.

They might score 35 points a game with Graham, but they'd be giving up that many too.

If the Packers are going to pay $10+ million to another player, Jairus Byrd would have a much bigger impact on the overall team.

Jordan's picture

Top five offense? Against who? They didn't look top 5 to me against teams with a winning record.

Shutout at Lambeau in first quarter in playoffs. Didn't seem top 5 to me.

Evan's picture

Top 5 over the course of the season. Break it down however you want and cherry pick one quarter of one game, but the stats are the stats.

I can cherry pick Jimmy Graham as well...1 catch for 8 yards in the playoffs against the Seahawks...

Jordan's picture

Oh I'm not cherry picking. I'm using my own two eyes. My eyes saw an offense that got beat by the 49ers twice. We'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

Who cares if the packers offense looks great against weak defenses. Unless your only goal is to win the division (and maybe hope you can beat up on a piss poor Vikings defense).

Evan's picture

"Oh I’m not cherry picking"

That's actually exactly what you're doing.

But it doesn't matter. This has exactly a zero percent chance of happening.

Clay's picture

Jordan the best offense ever scored 8 points in the Superbowl.

What are we arguing here???

DEFENSE wins championships.

Invest in the D please.

4thand1's picture

The #1 offense has faced the #1 defense in around 6 SB's. The defense won 5 of them. I not sure about 6 SB's but its close. Either way the Defense has come out on top almost every time.

Jordan's picture

Playing with a lead, can change the whole outcome of a game. Playing with a lead can make a defense better.

Of course the Packers are going to go heavy on D in the draft. They have no choice at this point.

WKUPackFan's picture

Well, I'm going to have to partially disagree with some folks I usually agree with on this one. I agree that Graham would be too expensive, especially in picks and in salary also. However, I disagree on the point that Graham would not be a significant improvement for the offense.

The argument for Finley always was that defenses had to account for him, even when Finley's play seemed to be below his potential. Not many would argue the point that Graham is overall more effective than Finley. Thus, it's logical that Graham would have a big effect on the offense (assuming a good fit with AR).

Drealyn Williams's picture

I hope the next TE the Pack acquire is a helluva run-blocking TE. #HowAbouThat

Evan's picture

Is one that can do both too much to ask for?

Drealyn Williams's picture

If we hold 3-4 roster spots open for TEs,why can't one of those spots be for a "specialist"? Remember Tom Crabtree?

Stroh's picture

There simply aren't any TE that enter the NFL as great all around TE's that can block really well and are very good recievers. The TE's in college that have any athleticism are used exclusively in the passing game and aren't asked to block. Gronk was the last TE to come into the NFL ready to be a good blocker and receiver and he had major back sugery in college.

Yeah it would be nice to have a TE that can do both very well, just don't count on seeing it for awhile.

DHoward's picture

For that much cap space, I'd rather have Byrd then Graham + lose two first round picks.

WKUPackFan's picture

First it was Rapaport with the five FA signing nonsense and now Schefter with this. Do these guys just make this stuff up to get hits? I'm afraid I know the answer.

Digital Tucker Hero's picture

TT is no Dan Devine and Graham is no Hadl..... thank your lucky stars youngsters.

Evan's picture

Was listening to the's Around the League podcast on the way into work this morning and one of the guys on there echoed the idea that the Packers are the most logical team to sign Graham...I have no idea where this is coming from.

HUMP's picture

schefter is a doofus. in reality,im sure graham is the kind of player thompson covets,and would not be shocked if he approached the saints with a straight up trade of our 1st rd pick.BUT ONLY ONE 1ST RD PICK! to suggest ted would ever think of giving up 2 1st rd picks for any player is FKN INSANE!!! but that said, if ebron was there at 21,im sure ted would pounce,but i would trade that pick for a proven commodity like jimmy graham every day of the fkn week!! if ted would pay finley 8mil yr,no doubt he would pay graham 10 mil yr

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