The exodus from Seattle continues.
This one was expected, too. Perhaps most expected of all.
I was told Monday the Seahawks expected Graham to sign with either the New Orleans Saints, in a reunion, or the Packers. Green Bay had the need at tight end after the signing of Martellus Bennett ended in a bad way midway through last season.
Either way, Seattle was never in the running to come close to the money the 31-year-old Graham was looking for on the market after a 10-touchdown season in 2017 that was deceptive.
Graham apparently will be the sixth former Seahawks starter to leave town in six days, back to Seattle trading Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett to Philadelphia last Wednesday. Then Richard Sherman, Jeremy Lane and DeShawn Shead got waived, and earlier Tuesday wide receiver Paul Richardson agreed to a free-agent contract with Washington for $8 million per year.
Then again, this is how free agency has often gone for the Seahawks under general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll since they arrived in 2010. They are often active in the second wave of the market, after the big-bucks, first splashes they’ve typically avoided.
Green Bay cut wide receiver Jordy Nelson, franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target, on Tuesday to clear $10 million in salary-cap space, apparently to make Graham’s deal happen.
Where does this leave Austin Seferian-Jenkins?
Now the Saints, having missed out on Graham, are belived to be targeting Seferian-Jenkins. Tuesday afternoon, a league source said the New York Jets were making another effort to re-sign him and keep him from leaving in free agency--and that “a few” other teams were also in play. Seferian-Jenkins declined the Jets’ offer of $8 million for two years last month.
The Seahawks remained interested as of Tuesday, I was told.
Seferian-Jenkins, the 25-year-old former star at the University of Washington from Fox Island and Gig Harbor High School, has been in the Seattle area since last week. Monday he worked out with some Seahawks players in a gym on their own.
A source said he is “extremely interested” in coming home to play for the Seahawks, and that his hometown team is likewise interested.
But now the market is heating up.