It feels like only yesterday that Falcons fans clamored for Jimmy Graham, one of the best mismatches in the NFL. His unique blend of size and speed created multiple 1,000+ yard seasons and 10+ touchdown campaigns.
That was a long time ago, as the pass catcher rarely looked the same since a 2015 trade to the Seattle Seahawks. Since then, Graham has been a shell of himself. Part of the problem was his scheme fit in Seattle and he never truly found his footing in Green Bay. It is clear that entering his age-34 season he is no longer one of the NFL’s most dangerous weapons.
So who wants anything to do with a player years removed from greatness? A team undergoing a cap crunch with a big need at tight end! The Falcons will be forced to go dumpster diving in free agency and hope they can pull out a few gently-used players that can be plugged into starting positions. The organization is almost certainly out on any player in the first wave of free agency, but they may find some stop-gaps deeper down and hope for the best. Can the Falcons get a 10-touchdown campaign like Graham last had in 2017?
Austin Hooper is all but guaranteed to leave for a big contract in free agency, leaving the Falcons desperately short at tight end. The team will be forced to rely on second-year undrafted free agent Jaeden Graham and veteran blocker Luke Stocker. The Other Graham did not look bad while filling in for Hooper for three games in 2019, averaging 2.3 receptions for 39 yards per game.
There may be upside there but the Falcons need to add at least one tight end this offseason worthy of starting. Their best option is a cheap veteran, and cheap means risky. Graham fits the bill. He could pay off thanks to the limited role Hooper played with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley receiving attention deep. It is years late but the Falcons could finally sign the former Saints play maker.