Why Jimmy Graham, 33, should retire as Packers set to sever ties

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Katie Feehan
Born in Yorkshire, Katie is a freelance journalist currently based in York. As a keen sports writer, Katie has a diploma in Multimedia Journalism from the Press Association and has worked on the busy Newcastle Chronicle sports desk. She has also written for Gateshead FC and contributed to various websites including HITC and Give Me Sport.

Jimmy Graham has had underwhelming consecutive seasons since joining the Green Bay Packers in 2018.

The 33-year-old tight end put up an unimpressive 1,083 yards over two seasons with just five touchdowns and was far from the star receiving threat who was once integral to the New Orleans Saints’ offense.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the Green Bay Packers are set to cut Graham today (Thursday) in a bid to free up $8 million in their salary cap, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

In this most recent season, Jimmy Graham put up the lowest numbers since his rookie year and it looks like he has nothing left to offer.

It’s hard to see any teams looking to pick up the once dominant receiver who will turn 34 in November so it leaves fans wondering what is next for Graham?

Jimmy took to Twitter to thank Packers fans ahead of the announcement expected today.

He said: The last 2 years have certainly been interesting!

“A lot of memories, friendships and humbling moments that I will carry with me into the next opportunity.

“Thank you for the support during our exciting run this year toward that ever so elusive ring.”

There is no indication in his goodbye to Green Bay fans that he is planning on retiring yet it’s difficult to see where he could land given his declining performance.

And it’s not just in his time at Lambeau that he has struggled to replicate his Saints strength.

READ MORE: Five wide receiver free agents the Packers could target this off-season

Even at the Seahawks, his 2016 stats – which were arguably his most impressive – didn’t come close to his productivity at New Orleans.

Jimmy Graham sent reflective tweet in January

There were rumours of retirement after Graham tweeted a reflective thank you to fans when the Packers crashed out of the playoffs in January.

Graham said: “This becomes harder every time you see others raise that trophy! I’m blessed and proud of these guys for battling to prove a lot of people wrong.

“Thank you for sticking by me for 10 years. I have given everything I have in pursuit of a ring. I am in your debt for believing in me.”

Yet Jimmy’s chances of landing on a Super Bowl contending team and him getting that “elusive ring” seem further now than ever.

And so it begs the question, after his 10-year career, is there much point in continuing to pursue something which is becoming increasingly unlikely?

Jimmy Graham Green Bay Packers
Cutting ties – Jimmy Graham is set to be cut from the Green Bay Packers today after two underwhelming seasons

The Packers ignored many warning signs when they acquired Jimmy Graham two years ago as a free agent, with his stats significantly declining in his final season at Seattle.

As a result, the Pack certainly did not get value for money on the three-year $30 million deal.

While a struggling team may hope to get him at a great price – there’s no way it will be near his 2019 salary – and hope for a resurgence, it’s difficult to see where that might be.

Without an obvious landing spot for Graham, it would be a shame for him to go without a team in the upcoming season and all logic points to a graceful retirement.

Graham risks tarnishing his legacy as one of his era’s greatest tight ends if he continues to battle it out on the field and putting up underwhelming numbers but here’s hoping he can prove us wrong.

What do you think? Should Graham retire or do you think he still has more left in the tank?

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