The Seahawks Are More Dangerous With Jimmy Graham
- Updated: March 11, 2015
The Seattle Seahawks were one play away from winning back-to-back titles. But one final play call helped them lose the game to the New England Patriots. Even though they lost to the Patriots, the Seahawks are still one of the best teams in the NFL. But some wondered what they would do this offseason to continue to build upon what they created. The first thing they had to do was get Marshawn Lynch a new deal. That has been accomplished, as the Seahawks have signed the veteran running back to an extension that will likely take him to the end of his career. But just when you thought the Seahawks did not have anymore tricks left up there sleeve, they come out with the shocker of the day. The Seahawks and Saints have agreed to a trade that will send Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham and a fourth round pick to Seattle and send Seahawks center Max Unger and the 31st overall pick in the 2015 draft to the Saints. Immediately this trade captured the attention of everyone that was caught up in the free agency frenzy. And just like that, the Seahawks have added even more talent to an already talented roster.
Graham is a former basketball player that morphed into a tight end. His hands are very strong and his speed is very nice for a man his size. For Seattle, they have not ever had a weapon like Graham at all. The Seahawks tried to make their passing game more dynamic with the addition of Percy Harvin at wide receiver a couple years back and that backfired on them. He was traded during the season and that ended up giving the Seahawks less issues in the locker room, but even less diversity in their passing game. With Graham, the Seahawks have a weapon that can cause problems at the mid and deep levels of the defense. And with his addition, he also gives Russell Wilson someone to depend on in the passing game. Graham is one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the NFL and has no problem lining up and going deep as well. That kind of talent will help make things a little easier for wide receivers to get open with less attention on him. Receiver Doug Baldwin should be an instant recipient of less attention. Some teams will line up their best cornerback against Graham and when they do, that will leave Baldwin against a number two cornerback, a matchup that can go in his favor more than against a number one corner.
But not only does Graham give the Seahawks a weapon they have never had in the passing game, he also affects the running game. While Graham is not the best blocker at tight end, he can still give the Seahawks a boost in the running game. Graham is a rare breed at tight end because he can also line up in the slot and split out wide like a wide receiver. The impact of Graham lining up wide is huge for Marshawn Lynch and his production. The defense will finally have to give someone extra attention in the Seahawks passing game. And more than likely that will require a safety to go over and assist a corner when guarding him or it will force a team to take a safety out of the box to go guard him. When that happens, it will more than likely take one more man out of the box and that will be trouble for the opposing defenses with Beast Mode running downhill at them. And when the Seahawks run the read option with Russell Wilson, it will make things even harder to defend with Graham getting extra attention. Look for Marshawn Lynch and the Seattle running game to be even more dangerous this season with Graham’s additions.
There are definitely a lot of positives that go along with the addition of Graham to the team, but there is one negative that goes along with him as well. It may not be that big of an issue, but it isn’t like the big tight end has a great relationship with the Seahawks over his career. Who remembers the shouting match he got into with members of the Seahawks before their playoff game a couple years ago? At the end of that one, a couple Seahawks defenders, defensive tackle Michael Bennett and linebacker Bruce Irvin, went on to call Graham overrated. It will be interesting to see if Graham remembers the exchange or if he moves on without even thinking about what happened. If he does not get over it, the chemistry the Seahawks have will suffer. And that could affect more than just the locker room but the performance on the field. For the Seahawks’ sake, the leaders of this team need to get all this ironed out immediately. If not, the past reactions could cause a shadow over the team. Graham is a huge addition, but not if he is bickering with his own team. It is a not likely for him to hang on to the past, but you never know what the mindset of Graham is going to a team that he does seem to get along with at all.
The Seahawks continue to make things happen year after year. And going into this offseason, they just made a huge splash. Only time will tell what happens, but the Seahawks continue to stay on the cutting edge, making things happen to enhance a team that is already tough. And that shudder you hear is the rest of the NFC looking at the raging monster in the Northwest that just added more rage in Graham.