Ex-Chicago Bears tight end set to return to NFL after one-year hiatus

Chicago Bears
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Former Chicago Bears tight end Jimmy Graham is officially back in the NFL after not playing during the 2022 season, with the all-time great electing to return to the team who drafted him, the New Orleans Saints. Graham's last playing time in the NFL came with the Chicago Bears, where he enjoyed a two-year stint that spanned to 2020 and 2021 seasons.

Former Chicago Bears TE, Jimmy Graham returns to New Orleans Saints

In just two seasons with the Bears, Graham hauled in 11 touchdowns on 99 targets through 32 total games, including the team's postseason contest versus Graham's first NFL team in the Saints. In this game, Graham notably scored one of the more interesting touchdowns in recent team history where he came down with a 19-yard walk-off touchdown to cut the Saints' victory to just a 12-point edge.

In what was one of the weirder Bears games in recent history (it was aired concurrently on Nickelodeon and Mitchell Trubisky was voted as the NVP despite the loss), Graham's actions in the final seconds likely stick with many fans as it was the perfect metaphor for the Matt Nagy - Ryan Poles regime: too little too late.

Outside of this one game, Graham was fairly productive in Chicago, and despite serving as a backup tight end throughout the majority of his second season to help usher along Cole Kmet, the Ginger Giant was a dependable red zone target. At 6' 7" and 260 lbs, being a force close to the goal line might be obvious and predictable, but this niche served Graham well in the later years of his career.