Should Chicago Bears release Jimmy Graham?
Even with the release of Kyle Fuller, the Chicago Bears are up against the salary cap. The team has not even announced the signing of Desmond Trufant yet, but we know that if he is making more than the league minimum that as the Bears are currently constructed, they cannot even sign their rookie draft class and stay compliant.
With that in mind, the Bears will have to look for pennies under the couch to stay under the cap. They can push some contracts down the line but have already done that with most of their big names, and all that is doing is making the future look murkier.
The rumors of Akiem Hicks being released have died down but may come back if the Bears feel a need to spend more. Of course, one way the Chicago Bears could clear cap space is to release Jimmy Graham.
Graham has a $10 million cap hit with $3 million in dead money. That would mean the Bears could clear up $7 million by releasing him. It is not quite the $11 million savings that came from Fuller, or the $10.5 that would come from Akiem Hicks. Still, clearing $7 million would give a team that needs breathing room much more space.
Beyond that, look at the names. Kyle Fuller saved just $4 million more than Jimmy Graham and just $3.5 million more than Akiem Hicks Most teams would pay $4 million to keep Fuller than Graham.
We are talking about a player who played over 50% of the team’s offensive snaps just one time from week 11 on. He had 15 catches for 154 yards from that time on. Jimmy Graham is a luxury player on a team that is cutting their core to get cap compliant.
The rumors are that Graham is sticking around because he and Russell Wilson are friends. That is great, but the Bears just signed Andy Dalton, for too much at that, because Wilson is not coming to Chicago via trade.
Beyond that, if Graham got cut, and Wilson got traded to Chicago, the only of his four realistic destinations, he would say no, now? The Bears holding onto Graham and cutting Fuller and possibly Hicks just hoping for the Seahawks to change their minds sounds crazy. Almost as crazy as carrying your TE2 with a $10 million cap hit while you are up against it.