NFL free agency has officially started and boy have we had a flurry of big moves. Owners and general managers feasted on available talent, handing out nice sized contracts to their targeted players. The Green Bay Packers did not miss out on the action, making two of the bigger moves of the day.
Five time Pro-bowl tight end Jimmy Graham has agreed to sign with the Packers on a reported three year deal. Graham has been a massive weapon since entering the NFL 2010. He’s scored 69 touchdowns in 121 career games and led the Seattle Seahawks last season with ten scores. The Packers’ tight ends scored all of two touchdowns collectively.
With Graham, the Packers have a red zone and third down option that can draw double coverage. For Aaron Rodgers, he’s a big target who is used to a quarterback who improvises with his legs. With a rebuilding offensive line, players that can get open quick can go a long way in moving the chains.
Moments after the news broke about Graham, the team announced they would release wide receiver Jordy Nelson. He’s been Aaron Rodgers’ main target since 2011 when he broke out for 1,263 yards and 15 touchdowns. Rodgers would win league MVP that year, coincidentally.
Nelson is arguably the best receiver in Packer history. He ranks fifth all time with 7,848 yards, third in receptions with 550 and second in touchdowns with 69. He signed a four year $39 million extension after the 2014 season and had one year left on his deal.
Green Bay’s offense has moved on to Davante Adams as it’s main target. The 25 year old out of Fresno State has 22 touchdown catches in his last two seasons. He led the Packers last season with 74 catches, 885 yards, and ten touchdowns.
Adams’ emergence made Nelson expendable going forward. Graham’s addition gives Aaron Rodgers two of the best touchdown threats in the NFL. With the NFC North making plenty of moves the Packers had to keep up. Nobody thought it would be these moves, particularly releasing Nelson. It’s really what NFL free agency is all about: moves that we think are going to happen and the moves that actually do.