Sep 15, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) reacts during the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports
Jimmy Graham is entering the final season of his contract, and Graham and the Saints organization are well aware of it.
Despite being held without a single catch or yard in Week 6, Graham still leads (for now) the NFL in Reception Yards with 593 yards on 37 catches, and 4 touchdowns. Before the shutout, that was nearly 119 yards/game (118.6 actually) & 7 catches/game (7.4 actually). Those numbers are now 98.9 yards/game, & 6.1 catches/game. If Graham were to keep his pace, he’s on track to finish the season with nearly 1,600 yards & 96 receptions when it’s all said and done.
The receptions record is held by the Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, and was set in 2012 with 110 receptions, breaking Tony Gonzalez’s previous record of 102 set in 2004.
Jimmy’s best season came in 2011, when he finished with 99 catches for 1,310 yards, and added 11 touchdowns. In that year, Graham was edged by New England Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski, who set the Tight End record for most yardage with 1,327 yards on 90 catches, and 17 touchdowns. So, again, if Jimmy could return to his previous pace, he could shatter the record from 2011.
At a price tag of $1.323M in his final season, he’s easily the best bargain the Saints have ever received.
So, what would you pay, or what do you think a guy like Jimmy Graham commands for a price tag?
Let’s look over the years at some notable Tight Ends who got hefty paychecks over the years, and then look at some figures for today.