It seems that “ridiculous” contract the Chicago Bears gave Jimmy Graham last year is looking more and more like a bargain these days. Not only did the veteran tight end score nine touchdowns last season, more than any Bears tight end since Greg Olsen in 2009. It now appears fans may have to give him tons of credit for being the team’s hype man to quarterback Russell Wilson.
According to Peter King of NBC Sports, it appears the seven-time Pro Bowl quarterback is fascinated with the idea of playing in Chicago. Not only is it a sports-crazy town which he likes, but it and the Bears have also gotten a bunch of love from the tight end. Somebody Wilson considers a good friend. The two played together for three seasons from 2015 to 2017.
No doubt a reunion is on Graham’s mind.
“As for the Bears, I think there are three things at play: Chicago tight end Jimmy Graham is a good friend of Wilson’s, and he’s told him good things about the team and the city. Wilson loves the sporting zeal of the city, the love for the Cubs, the love for the Bears, and might look at it like, Chicago hasn’t had a lot of great quarterbacks, and I could be one. Maybe I could be the missing piece, and how crazy would Chicago go if the Bears ever got great again? And I think he loves the city.”
Graham and Wilson connected 170 times for 2,048 yards and 18 touchdowns in their three seasons together. The tight end was sent to Seattle in 2015 as part of a blockbuster trade with the New Orleans Saints. It’s safe to say the two grew close during that time period. Wilson had his best overall season as a pro their first year together. So there is definite chemistry.
No doubt the Bears would be expected to keep Graham in the event they somehow managed to make a trade happen. Expectations up to this point have been that he may be cut this offseason. Not due to production issues but more salary cap problems. Graham would give them a much-needed $7 million in breathing room. Wilson’s arrival would force them to get creative. Something they no doubt wouldn’t mind.
Russell Wilson situation proves again it’s all about connections
Selling him on the city and organization would’ve been challenging by itself. The Bears are a sturdy franchise with a ravenous fanbase. However, they aren’t without flaws. They’ve had trouble building around their quarterbacks in the past. They have two men in charge who are clearly on the hot seat going into this season. Why would the 32-year old have wanted to insert himself into such a situation?
Having Graham present to ease his fears is potentially huge. Russell Wilson clearly trusts the tight end who is no doubt telling him the city is great but more importantly the team is a quarterback away from competing for a championship. Wilson is a competitor down to his bones. He desperately wants to win another Super Bowl. If Seattle isn’t going to help maximize his talents to get there, then he’ll go somewhere that will.
The QB-starved Bears would be ready and willing to give him more sway.
With all that being said? It’s too early to tell what will happen. Thus far Seattle hasn’t shown any willingness to move their star quarterback. Many experts believe cooler heads will eventually prevail and he will remain with the Seahawks. At least for one more year. If that doesn’t happen, then the Bears stand as good of a chance as anybody to land him.