Bears TE Jimmy Graham considered retiring after last season, but has ‘unfinished business’

·2 min read

In the final seconds of the Bears’ wild-card playoff loss to the Saints, tight end Jimmy Graham caught a touchdown and walked right off the field, the reality of another season cut short of a title dawning on him. And there was a moment when Graham considered hanging up his cleats.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Graham said that he considered retirement after last season. Health was the biggest factor for Graham. But ultimately, it was the allure of winning his first Super Bowl ring that brought him back to the Bears in 2021.

“I got a lot of unfinished business,” Graham said “… I want to win a ring. That’s all I think about.”

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With Graham’s salary cap hit at $10 million for the 2021 season, there was reason to believe he might become a cap casualty. But as players like cornerbacks Kyle Fuller and Buster Skrine and offensive tackles Charles Leno and Bobby Massie went, it become more obvious that the Bears wanted to keep Graham in place for 2021.

Graham returns to a tight ends room that consists of second-year player Cole Kmet, who Graham enjoyed mentoring during his rookie season. Graham raved about Kmet early on in his rookie season, and he said one of the greatest joys for him last season was watching the growth of Kmet.

“He’s just a special kid,” Graham said. “There’s truly no ceiling. He can be as good as he wants to be.”

We’ll get to see just how good the duo of Graham and Kmet can be in 2021 with improved quarterback play, whether that’s from rookie Justin Fields or veteran Andy Dalton.

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