10 March 2015

Breaking down the Jimmy Graham trade to Seattle

(AP)
What is with all of these blockbuster trades in the NFL this past week? First it was the Kiko Alonso-LeSean McCoy deal between Philadelphia and Buffalo, then it was Brandon Marshall heading to the Jets but now we have a real whopper: the Saints are sending star tight end Jimmy Graham plus a fourth-round pick to the Seahawks for their 2015 first-round pick and center Max Unger as first reported by Jay Glazer. This is a massive deal in shaping the NFC, let's break it down for each.

It is a bold move for the Seahawks as they finally get the fearsome pass-catching threat they have not had under Pete Carroll. Russell Wilson has had some nice players to throw to but nobody that forces a defense to account for his presence on every play. Graham is a matchup nightmare of a tight end and is a substantial from the mediocrity that Seattle employed last season at the tight end position. Given that the team is a strong Super Bowl contender, paying the price of a first-rounder selection and their starting center to improve one of the few noticeable weaknesses on the roster.

For the Saints, parting with an elite player like Graham is a risk, particularly when their franchise player, Drew Brees, had a disappointing 2014 season as did the team as a whole. However, after last season's 7-9 season meant that the team had to make some changes and the team's cap structure as such made it hard to make upgrades. Yes the team just gave Graham a big extension a year ago but dealing him gives the team a much-needed additional high draft choice as well as a much-needed upgrade at center with Unger.

In my opinion, this is a deal that benefits both parties. The Saints are able to begin a semi-rebuilding process in earnest while admitting that they had mismanaging their cap situation, while the Seahawks have made themselves even more of a Super Bowl contender than they were yesterday. Both teams do take on some risk (New Orleans is parting with their sole dominant playmaker in their passing game while Seattle is paying a good chunk of change for someone that was a relative disappointment last year) but all in all, I think it is worth it for both.

No comments:

Post a Comment