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Green Bay Packers: Should the Packers Try to Sign Jimmy Graham?

SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 11:  Tight end Jimmy Graham #80 of the New Orleans Saints looks on in the first half while taking on the Seattle Seahawks during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at CenturyLink Field on January 11, 2014 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Michael KimbleContributor IIIMarch 3, 2014

Jimmy Graham has been franchise tagged by the New Orleans Saints, and already people are speculating on whether a team will give up two first-round draft picks to offer the Saints in exchange for him.

On Monday morning, ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted that the Seahawks and Packers should consider the move.

If I'm the Seattle Seahawks or Green Bay Packers, I'm willing to sign TE Jimmy Graham to an offer sheet and to give up two 1's to get him.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 3, 2014

If the Packers were to give up two first-round picks, it would be a very risky and expensive proposition. But if they added Graham to an already potent offense featuring Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, Jordy Nelson, and Randall Cobb, Green Bay's already great offense could be the best in the league.

Graham is an incredible talent who tilts the field, and he would give Rodgers another weapon that could make the Packers unstoppable on the offensive side of the ball.

On the other hand, the Packers have plenty of needs, and most of them are on the defensive side of the ball. Losing two first-round picks could hamper the development of this defense—especially since general manager Ted Thompson builds his team primarily through the draft.

In addition, looking at recent history, a strong defense may be necessary to compete against teams like the Seahawks and 49ers, even if the Packers would have a far superior offense than either of those teams with Graham on the field.

The Atlanta Falcons were one team that gave up draft picks to load up on one side of the ball. In the 2011 draft, they gave up five draft picks for Julio Jones.

Although Atlanta's offense became even more potent with Jones on the field, they were unable to address their needs on defense. And although the Falcons went 13-3 in 2012, they disappointed with a 4-12 record the next year, and have failed to win more than one playoff game since.

Bringing in Jimmy Graham could be a fantastic move for the Packers, and one that many Packer fans would be excited about.

But not only is Ted Thompson not one to give up draft picks for a free agent, but this move could prove to be more of a risk than the Packers would be willing to take.

After the 2013 season, it is clear that they need to work on their defense, and if they give up two first-round picks, it could make it more difficult to improve there.

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