Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Jimmy Graham to the Green Bay Packers

Dec 17 2017 Charlotte NC USA Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson with quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports Jimmy Graham to the Green Bay Packers
Shannon Reynolds | 14 March, 2018, 16:53

It is surprising the Raiders could potentially replace receiver Michael Crabtree with Nelson.

It's a good bet the Packers would have moved on from Nelson whether or not they pursued - and eventually came to an agreement with - Graham on Tuesday.

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst would not say whether that was an option before he released Nelson on Tuesday, although he indicated there were several scenarios that were discussed before the decision was reached. The Packers landed a great consolation prize in Graham, but it's hard to replace Nelson's massive contributions and respected role as a locker room leader.

Nelson, who recorded three straight seasons with at least 1,200 receiving yards from 2013-16, finished with just 53 catches for 482 yards and six touchdowns in 15 games. It's no sure thing Nelson and Carr could replicate the same magic he had in Green Bay. No teammate exemplified what it means to be a Packer quite like him.

With Nelson now in free agency several teams will have strong interest in the 32-year-old receiver who has played in 136 games, all in Green Bay.

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After signing tight end Jimmy Graham the Green Bay Packers have reportedly released veteran wide receiver Jordy Nelson.

Regardless, the 2018 season will be a comparison of what Graham does for the Packers' offense to what those who believe Nelson still had something left in the tank think he could have given them.

Graham averaged 8.9 FanDuel points per game last season, with 57 catches (96 targets) for 520 yards and 10 touchdowns. Nelson was making $11 million per year and the Packers were looking to clear some room under the salary cap. Receiver Amari Cooper is hoping for a bounce-back year of his own and Nelson could show him some tricks of the trade.

Graham's last contract, signed with New Orleans in 2014, was for $40 million over four years. We'll see if he's Oakland's first big splash as free agency officially gets underway. Schefter said that Nelson intends to play next season somewhere. He even earned NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors after returning from a torn ACL to lead the league with 14 touchdown catches in 2016.

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