The Packers have struggled to find a consistent replacement for Jermichael Finely, their prized tight end, who retired October 19, 2015 due to injury.
In 2016 they signed free agent Jared Cook to a one year deal. JC had a solid 2016 season and it looked like the Packers were prepared to lock him into a long term contract.
Then at the beginning of the 2017 season, out of nowhere, the Packers signed Martelius Bennet instead.
The MB signing was promising at first but it never lived up to the hype due to Aaron Rodger’s season ending collarbone injury.
Soon after AR’s injury MB shut down and the Packers were forced to release him. Who knows what really happened? I’m just glad he’s out of Green Bay.
Fast forward to the 2018 off-season and the signing of veteran tight end Jimmy Graham by the new Packers General Manager, Brian Gutekunst.
I am optimistic the signing of JG will mean at least two Super Bowl victories during his three year contract.
JG is a physical specimen with height, speed, agility and the hands to put up huge numbers playing alongside AR. He is still arguably the most skilled tight end in the NFL.
Sky’s the limit if we design the right game plan for him and AR to connect.
If I were wearing the sideline headphones this is how I would involve JG early and often.
Third Down Conversions
JG is a match up nightmare for linebackers and safety’s, especially in short yardage third down situations. JG is a genius at getting open in tight spaces and we know that AR can fit the ball into tight spaces too.
I expect the Packers to convert third downs with ease due to JG’s presence and AR’s pin-point accuracy.
AR and the Packers offense have historically been excellent converting Red Zone opportunities into touchdowns.
This has had much to do with the sure hands and craftiness of Jordy Nelson.
When JN left the Packers, many thought his absence would hurt the Packers Red Zone dominance, and I agreed.
I’m no longer worried. JG is the prefect replacement for JN and maybe even better because of his physical stature.
Add the fact that opposing cornerbacks will be worried about a Davante Adams back shoulder fade for six and JG should have his way in the middle of the field.
The signing of JG is a game changer for the Packers offense and will pay huge dividends in the way of third down conversions and Red Zone touchdowns.
There is no doubt in my mind this signing will go down as one of the top five free agent signings in Packers history.