Packers Rumors: Jimmy Graham Expected to Return to Green Bay for 2019 Season

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2019

Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham (80) runs with the ball after a catch against the San Francisco 49ers during an NFL football game Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 33-30. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)
Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

The Green Bay Packers are expected to bring back tight end Jimmy Graham for the 2019 season, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

The 32-year-old has two years remaining on his current deal, with a base salary of $3.45 million next season, per Spotrac. Rapoport notes that Graham is owed a $5 million roster bonus on March 15.

Green Bay signed the five-time Pro Bowler to a three-year, $30 million deal last March while releasing longtime star Jordy Nelson.

The aging Graham may be past his prime, but he has remained productive as he ages. He hauled in 55 catches for 636 yards and two touchdowns this past season—and that's in his first year of catching passes from Aaron Rodgers.

He has not eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark since 2013, but he has piled up 500-plus yards every year since his rookie campaign. On the other hand, the 6'7", 265-pound tight end is just one year removed from a 10-touchdown performance with the Seattle Seahawks.

Just as notably, Graham has been fairly durable throughout the years. He has played in all 16 regular-season games in five of the past six seasons, including each of the past three years. Only once in his nine-year career has he failed to make at least 15 appearances in a season.

Green Bay has now missed out on the postseason in back-to-back seasons. The offense will have to adjust to new coach Matt LaFleur's system, so having a proven playmaker like Graham in the mix would be beneficial for Rodgers.

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