Chicago Bears News: 3 thoughts on Jimmy Graham signing

Chicago Bears (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Jimmy Graham
Chicago Bears (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

1. Graham was a massive overpay

The deal for Graham is a 2-year, $16 million contract with $9 million guaranteed. To put that in perspective, Austin Hooper is signing with the Cleveland Browns for an annual average of $10.5 million, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. So, the Browns are getting the league’s top free agent tight end for a mere $2.5 million more per season than the Bears are with Graham.

There are two enormous problems with this contract. First of all, Graham is and has been a shell of his former self over the last five seasons. He had one season with the Seahawks that saw him catch 10 touchdown passes, but otherwise, Graham hasn’t been close to the guy he was with the New Orleans Saints.

Graham has become very soft, can’t block and is much slower than he once was. That’s who he is in a nutshell.

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Second, the Bears now have roughly $16 million tied up between two tight ends for 2020. Trey Burton counts $8.5 million against the cap this season. That is a truckload of money to pay two tight ends who aren’t even close to the true no. 1 option the Bears have lacked.

If Pace really wanted to attack the tight end position in free agency, he would have offered Hooper what the Browns gave him. At the very least, the Bears could have given Eric Ebron what they gave Graham — if not just a little bit more.