Needless to say, the decision by Bears general manager Ryan Pace to sign veteran tight end Jimmy Graham to a two-year, $16 million deal early in free agency hasn't been met with much praise. Nor should it.
It continues to baffle even the most optimistic of Bears fans. Why would Pace target an over-the-hill pass-catcher who can't be counted on to produce more than a guy like Trey Burton at this point in his career? Remember: Burton did have six touchdowns for the Bears in 2018. Graham has five scores over the last two seasons combined.
Even with Aaron Rodgers throwing to him in Green Bay last season, Graham managed just 38 catches for 447 yards and three touchdowns.
Not great, Ryan.
As a result, the decision to bring Graham Chicago has been one of the lowest-graded moves in the league so far. This unfriendly evaluation comes via Bleacher Report:
An $8 million average annual salary for a washed-up Jimmy Graham might look silly if Eric Ebron signs a similar deal. Ebron remains on the open market, is seven years younger than Graham and is a year removed from a breakout campaign in which he led all tight ends with 13 touchdown catches.
Graham has only five touchdown grabs in his last two seasons combined. He hasn't scored since October, and he looked to be running out of gas down the stretch in 2019.
This isn't back-breaking money, but it could have been better spent elsewhere.
It's hard imagining a scenario where Graham would've had an offer from another team that would've come anywhere near what the Bears are paying him over the next two seasons. It wouldn't have been a surprise if Graham struggled to even find a second team that was interested in his services.
Pace has a plan. And that plan includes the 33-year-old tight end. Hopefully, it works out. But It's highly unlikely Chicago will get anything more than what Graham has been the last few years, which isn't what the Bears need right now.
Bears continue to catch heat for Jimmy Graham signing originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago