NFL rumors: Packers' Jimmy Graham expected to hit free agent market

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NFL teams in need of a tight end could find another really good player hitting the open market later this month.

NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham is expected to become an unrestricted free agent.

Graham, 33, tallied 38 receptions for 447 yards and three touchdowns last season. It was his second campaign with the Packers. He also has been pretty durable later in his career with zero games missed the past four years.

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A few likely playoff contenders are in need of a talent upgrade at tight end, including the New England Patriots. The Patriots did a poor job in 2019 replacing Rob Gronkowski's offensive production at tight end. Patriots tight ends Ben Watson, Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo combined for just 36 receptions, 418 yards and two touchdowns last season.

The Patriots would be wise to select a tight end (or two) in the draft. They are projected to have 12 picks (including compensatory selections) in the seven rounds. That said, adding a veteran tight end to the roster who could make an immediate impact also would be a smart move as the Patriots try to rebound from an underwhelming offensive season in 2019. Graham will be among the best tight end free agents if he hits the market.

The legal tampering period begins March 16, with free agency officially beginning March 18.

NFL rumors: Packers' Jimmy Graham expected to hit free agent market originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston