No, they aren’t trading Jimmy Graham.
Not after what he pulled off Sunday in the Seahawks’ crazy, 41-38 rally past the Houston Texans.
"Jimmy Graham is finally showing that he is still Jimmy Graham," Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin said of his 30-year-old teammate and much-scrutinized tight end.
Graham had his first two-touchdown game since November, against Buffalo. His second score Sunday from Russell Wilson, from 18 yards out with 21 seconds left, stunned the Texans.
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"You know, I haven’t been that open over the middle in a while," Graham said, grinning.
This past weekend rumors floated nationally from NFL Network and elsewhere that the Seahawks were shopping Graham. He has nine games left on his four-year, $40 million contract Seattle inherited in its trade with New Orleans, for what was then the league most prolific pass-catching tight end in the spring of 2015. Some rumors had Seattle trading Graham for Houston left tackle Duane Brown. Brown ended his holdout last week and started Sunday against the Seahawks.
The fact Graham had $4.6 million remaining due to him over the final couple months of the regular season entering Sunday make a deal before Tuesday’s league trading deadline highly unlikely.
Sunday, Seahawks general manager John Schneider told the team’s radio pregame show: "We talk about this all the time, that we are in as many deals as we can possibly be in. So we are listening to every scenario we possibly can.
“And what I can tell is Jimmy’s not being traded."
Then Graham had as many touchdowns in one game as he had in the six this season before this wild one.
"In the middle of some drama," said Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who is no stranger to drama.
"There are fake reports out there that say we are trading Jimmy Graham. He has to deal with that kind of stress, which is untrue. Thankfully, our GM and our head coach come out and they are very transparent and everything and put those to rest, because he’s a great player and a great teammate."
Wilson poked a bit at the media—then again praised Graham, as he has for three seasons.
"No offense, but people love writing about stuff and people get different ideas and different thoughts," Wilson said. "And that’s what you guys get paid what you do to do, and thinking about what it could be.
"Jimmy, we love the guy to death. I hope he never goes anywhere. He’s is a special player, a special friend, special worker, and he brings an enthusiasm to the game. … When he catches the ball (the) whole stadium lights up…
"Jimmy is a special player."
Graham said he is still recovering from a tricky patellar-tendon surgery in his knee from the injury he got in November 2015 against Pittsburgh. That prematurely ended his debut season for Seattle after just two touchdowns.
He’s been a constant source of frustration and question since. Dropped passes--another one in the open field Sunday--plus lost chances and disappearances in the red zone have been more the norm than winning play against Houston. His latest Sunday was more reminiscent of his starry days with Drew Brees and the Saints.
"I’m still rehabbing every day," Graham said. "Compared to where I was last year, a big leap forward as far as pain goes. Last year (65 catches, six scores) was a struggle for me. It feels good to be able to practice on Thursdays this year.
"I am going to keep working. We are all going to keep working."