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Surprise! Jimmy Graham Ain't Done Yet And Is Returning To The Saints On A One-Year Deal

It's pretty cool to see Jimmy Graham presumably cap off his career where it all started. The New Orleans Saints drafted a supreme athlete better known for basketball with 17 catches at the University of Miami and helped him blossom into a superstar. Although Graham's peak turned out to be his first five-ish years in the NFL, he's been a more-than-serviceable pass-catcher for a dozen seasons. 

After not playing last season, I thought he was finished. It appears as if the 36-year-old still believes he has a little more in the tank. I don't blame him. Those last couple years in Chicago weren't pleasant to say the least. Not exactly catching the ball from Drew Brees, Russell Wilson or Aaron Rodgers like he was in his three prior professional stops.

Can't emphasize enough how dominant Graham was in his prime. As a tribute to his hardwood roots, he'd often dunk on the goalpost after scoring one of many touchdowns:

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Look at this stretch from 2011 to 2014:

…Was it really that long ago? Fuck I'm getting old.

Temper expectations for Graham accordingly given his age and mileage. The good news is, he'll be as fresh as he's ever been. A similarly talented receiving tight end, Rob Gronkowski, took a season off to allow his body to heal. Came back ready to rock and caught two TDs from Tom Brady to help the Bucs win the Super Bowl. Please don't jump all over me for the loose Gronk analogy. We all know that dude happens to also be one of the best blocking tight ends ever.

Moving on before we go too far astray. The bottom line for the Saints is, they're banking on some interesting pieces on offense this season — or are they? I don't know. Derek Carr's confidence reached shambolic status under Josh McDaniels in Vegas last season, so the Saints are hoping he returns to his mega-clutch 2021 form where he authored six of his 33 game-winning drives.

New Orleans would take an approximate combination of 2021 Carr, 2020 Alvin Kamara, 2019 Michael Thomas and Jimmy Graham also circa 2019. Even like 82.5% of the production from those skill players in those years would go a long way. Throw that into the mix with second-year stud wideout Chris Olave and you have a pretty damn good offense. Well, good enough to maybe win the NFC South.

Congrats on the comeback, Jimmy Graham. Can't wait to see him try to tap into some of that red-zone weapon magic in his final act.

Twitter @MattFitz_gerald/TikTok

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