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

Chicago Bears
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Chicago Bears, Jimmy Graham
Chicago Bears, Jimmy Graham / Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Graham has been one of the best tight ends in NFL history

After being drafted by the Saints out of the University of Miami, Graham enjoyed a stellar five-season stretch where he was able to team up with one of the truly elite quarterbacks, Drew Brees. In New Orleans, Graham logged 51 touchdowns and 4,752 yards, but despite making three Pro Bowls with the team, he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for center Max Unger and draft compensation.

In Seattle, Graham recorded 18 touchdowns over three seasons, and starting to turn into somewhat of a red zone specialist for Russel Wilson. After three years with the Seahawks, Graham played for the Green Bay Packers for two seasons prior to joining the Bears ahead of the 2020 season.

Now, Graham appears ready for a return to the NFL, and assuming that he can make the team's roster at the age of 36, this year would mark his 13th season as a pro and his sixth (nonconsecutive) season with the Saints. During his lone season away from the NFL, Graham stayed relatively active, mainly through his chronicles as a pilot, reportedly originating from his affinity for Top Gun as a child and the franchise's sequel last summer.