Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

Packers to release Jordy Nelson, sign Jimmy Graham

Packers to release Jordy Nelson, sign Jimmy Graham

The productive tight end will sign a three-year deal with the club thanks to new general manager Brian Gutekunst.

There had been a lot of talk in recent days about a reunion between Graham and the New Orleans Saints, the team that traded him to Seattle in 2015.

Four times in his nine seasons on the field, Nelson totaled at least 1,000 receiving yards.

Graham and fellow tight end Luke Willson were both unrestricted free agents heading into the offseason for the Seahawks. The only other tight ends the Packers had on the roster before moving on Graham were ex-University of Wisconsin standout Lance Kendricks and youngster Emanuel Byrd.

He remains a crucial red-zone target, catching 10 touchdown passes last season, his first double-digit touchdown season since 2014 when he was with the Saints. The 6-foot-7, 265-pound Graham would fit the bill.

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At a cap hit of over $12.5 million, Nelson was due the third-highest salary of any Packers player for 2018. Hauling in 1,257 yards and a league-leading 14 touchdowns on 97 catches paced Green Bay's offense.

Nelson finished with just 53 catches for 482 yards and six touchdowns past year, but that's due in large part to the fact that Aaron Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone in Week 6 and missed most of the season thereafter. All six of those TDs came before Rodgers' Oct. 15 injury.

Last season Nelson's numbers dipped.

He missed the 2015 season with an injury, and his productivity dropped by 44 receptions, almost 800 yards and eight touchdowns past year.

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