The Houston Texans finally have their franchise quarterback. Now they must surround him with targets. According to Yahoo Sports, Jimmy Graham will not re-sign with the Seattle Seahawks this offseason. What this news does is open up the possibility of paring Graham with Deshaun Watson. The Texans current stable of tight ends is nowhere as reliable as Graham. However, can Graham thrive in another offense that features a mobile quarterback?
While with the New Orleans Saints, the connection of Drew Brees to Jimmy Graham was one of the best in the NFL. Over his five years with the Saints, Graham would catch 386 passes for 4,752 yards and 51 touchdowns. While Graham is listed as a tight end, he often played more like a wide receiver.
His time in Seattle did not go as planned. While Brees is a pocket-passer, Russell Wilson likes to throw while on the run. Graham is not much of a blocker and that might be one of the reasons he wishes to move on from Seattle. Although, another reason could be due to what is perceived as the downfall of the Seahawks.
Graham heading to Houston would propel their receiving corps to top five in the NFL. With DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller, Watson would have his pick of playmakers to choose from. While most young quarterbacks enter the league looking to build chemistry with first or second-year players, Watson could have a Super Bowl ready core as early as 2018.
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Graham made $10 million last season with the Seahawks and after another Pro Bowl selection (57 receptions, 520 yards) in 2017, he may look to increase that amount. The best thing going for the Texans other than young talent on the field is that they have young talent contracts. The majority of their team is signed up until 2020 which gives them plenty of wiggle room to add Graham to the roster. A $13 million cap hit will not destroy the team but Graham must contribute.
While Wilson is a mobile quarterback, he still managed to pass for two of the highest season totals in his career with Graham in uniform. Graham’s presence would be a welcoming site for the young Watson as he could check down to Graham if Hopkins and Fuller are covered. Graham must understand that those early 1,000-yard seasons he had in New Orleans are things of the past. Watson is mobile and the offense has been set up to feature Fuller and Hopkins. However, that’s not to say that Graham cannot contribute with 60+ catches and 700 yards.
The Texans missed the playoffs this season due to injuries. But a healthy return by Watson, J.J. Watt, and a possible signing of Graham could have the Houston Texans in the chase for a top seed in the AFC.