The likelihood of any team yielding two first-round picks for a single player is slim. There are so many different factors that come into play. Can you afford to yield two high picks? What about the ridiculous contract you are going to have to pay said player? Do you have a need at that position?
This doesn’t even take into account the fact that a team can retain its franchise player by matching your offer sheet. So when the franchise tag is placed on a specific player, there is a strong likelihood that he will have to eventually re-sign with his original team.
Now what happens if a star-needy organization such as the Jacksonville Jaguars with a lot of cap room decide to sign said player to an offer sheet, in this case New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham? What happens then? New Orleans doesn’t have the cash to pay a ridiculous sum of money for any one player and would likely have to let Graham walk.
That’s all conjecture on our part, as is stating the Jaguars might be interested. It’s the old case of “what if.”
There are, however, some reports out there that a team or two is seriously considering signing Graham to an offer sheet. A few different factors would have to come into play if this were to happen.
1) Said team would have to have a nice amount of cap space: Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings.
2) Need: Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Green Bay Packers, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks.
3) Draft Picks: San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns.
4) Combination of All Three: None
See the problem here? Some have indicated that the Baltimore Ravens might show some interest. They don’t have the need, cap space or draft picks to really make it work. The Cleveland Browns have two first-round picks, but one is in the top five and they already have a great young tight end in Jordan Cameron.
What about the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks? They released Zach Miller last month and definitely have a need. With that said, Seattle exhausted a first-round pick last year and a third rounder this year in the Percy Harvin trade. They also have less than $5 million to spend under the cap and must think about retaining young stars on short-term deals.
Logically, New Orleans is in a win-win situation. It doesn’t make sense for any team to spend two first-round picks on a tight end. In fact, the only players worth that bounty in the NFL today are Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers and possibly Colin Kaepernick.
If some team does sign Graham to an offer sheet, it will be putting itself in behind the proverbial eight ball in the next two drafts. In a league that is build around the draft, that makes little sense. In short, NFL teams are unlikely to approach Saints TE Jimmy Graham this offseason.
Photo: Derick E. Hingle, USA Today