Chicago Bears: 3 reasons to get on board with Jimmy Graham

Jimmy Graham (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
Jimmy Graham (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Eric Ebron
Chicago Bears (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Weak Free Agent/Draft Class

You got me. Please share with me who you were shouting for the Chicago Bears to sign prior to free agency started? Was it Austin Hooper? The tight end who is about to be the highest-paid tight end in 2020. What about Eric Ebron? Many do not find him to be a reliable option. He had one breakout season with Andrew Luck in 2018, but that looks to be an outlier.

The return of Greg Olsen would have made a great headline and possible comeback story, but with his injury history, he cannot be trusted. Availability is sometimes the best ability and Olsen has yet to prove that year-in and year-out. The same could be said of Tyler Eifert.

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Some of these guys have problems staying on the field whereas others seem to have some “lockerroom issues”.  The thing is, not one of these guys was a sure bet. Many will argue that Hooper was, but I am not sold on Hooper being as good as many fans seem to believe. In fact, I think he disappoints many Browns fans in the end with his contract.

That said, I would have been happy with Hooper in a Bears uniform. I would have been happy with Ebron in a Bears uniform too. None of these guys were slam dunks, but Ebron has the most upside despite his drops and injury issues. He is not making much less than Graham though. Hooper has upside too and is young enough to hope he gets even better. The Bears likely offered him a deal, and Hooper probably chose Cleveland. Pace could not pay Hooper more than his current deal.

The draft is not much better. Cole Kmet seems to be the most well-rounded option, but he should not be drafted any earlier than the second round. Brycen Hopkins, Adam Trautman and Harrison Bryant should be the next guys off the board, but none are worth taking early. These guys will be drafted earlier than they should be based on how weak the draft class is this year.

I would be happy seeing these guys on the Bears roster, but not in the second. My hope is they land a tight end in the fifth. Hopefully, guys like Thaddeus Moss, Jared Pinkney or Stephen Sullivan become options in rounds five through seven. The point is, bringing in a veteran tight end was a must, and Graham is being hated on way too soon.