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Franchise Graham? How much would he be missed?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Tunescribe, Jan 25, 2007.

  1. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    Daniel Graham seems hell-bent on flying the coop for much-"greener" pastures. But, I'm wondering, should we really let him go? He was captained this year, and it seems that between the injuries he and Ben Watson keep coming up with, one or the other usually is available. Watson and Graham seem to complement each other well.

    It seems to me that Dave Thomas was drafted to eventually spell Graham, but he's still very much an unknown quantity, especially as a blocker. I think next season those three would be a very formidable trio at tight end, moreso than this past season.

    I agree with those who feel Asante Samuel is worth the franchise tag and would rather see it used there if push comes to shove. But I'm wondering if there is a scenario under whih EITHER Samuel or Graham can be locked up contractually without the tag, and the tag used on the one most likely to sign elsewhere.

    I think losing Graham weakens us significantly at tight end, at least in the short term. I'd hate to see him go.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2007
  2. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Not sure what you are basing the hell bent characterization on. Graham seems to want to remain but the team seems to see his cash value (in spite of his contributory value to the team which they frequently acknowledge) at substantially less than he perceives it. Graham could be transition tagged. That gives us 7 days to match the best offer he gets on the open market although if we don't there is no compensation beyond the compensatory pick we may get for any FA loss the following season. That 7 day wait sometimes puts off other bidders because they fear they will lose the opportunity to persue an alternate candidate in the interim, so players agents don't like it. There is the problem of the poison pills, which I believe the league and union have not yet been able to officially agree to squelch, but I think the commissioners office has made it known they will frown on anyone who employs them this season to the extent Minnesota and Seattle did last season.

    I'm sure they will ask him to bring any offer back to them as they did with Givens and Adam, it's just that sometimes when it comes to that a player feels disrespected and chooses not to. And teams making FA offers will often require a player to agree not to shop their best offer or it will be withdrawn.

    Hopefully they will get something done because after naming him a captain it would be another blow for the remaining core players to see him walk.
  3. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    Thanks for the input, Mo. I forgot all about the transition tag. It just seemed to me from what I've read that Graham is anxious to test the open market; perhaps he would prefer to remain here.
  4. dhamz

    dhamz Rookie

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    I think all things being equal that Graham wants to stay and the Pats want to keep him. I also think all things will not be anywhere close to equal as he can get more on the market than the Pats will value him at.

    With Watson and Thomas and Mills I think the Pats will not franchise Graham. I think Samuel will be the guy who is franchised.
  5. The Predator

    The Predator Rookie

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    I know his blocking will be missed if he goes, but the Pats seem prepared for it. Mills is a FB. IOM a FB is a much more effective tool for blocking. Toward the end of the season teams started jumping on Graham whenever he went in motion because he typically blocked up the middle. The FB is not so predictable.
  6. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The thing with Graham is that he can be replaced as a blocker cheaper. For that reason I think he will be gone. There are more than a few slow TE"s that can be taught to block adequately. Grahams blocking may be good but he isn't A or A+ in that category ... he is more B+ which negates the huge salary.
  7. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    There are a LOT of teams that want a NFL starting TE. Take the Seattle Seahawks for example. That Jeremy Stevens guy they got is a joke -- TE is one of the areas that Holmgren wants to improve this offseason, and with no 1st round pick, Seattle needs to do so in FA.

    The Jets too will probably want to go after Graham to bolster their running game and weaken a division opponent.

    BB seems prepared for this by spending a high 3rd round pick on Thomas. With Watson and Thomas as the first 2 on the depth chart, all we need is a day 2, big blocking TE, or a 10 year vet playing for the minimum (like Walter Rasby or Jed Weaver).
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2007
  8. primetime

    primetime Rookie

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    He's the best blocking TE in the league. May be the best I've ever seen. Compared to TEs, he's an A+. Maybe compared to offensive linemen he's a B+, but he can actually control speed rushers like Freeney far more effectively than the less quick Light.

    And he's a good receiver. He cured his dropsies and now has great hands and has shown that, when given the chance, can rumble down the field, over and through people.

    I'd rather have Graham than Watson.
  9. Brady'sButtBoy

    Brady'sButtBoy Rookie

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    I'd rather have Graham than Watson also. My dream scenario includes signing Graham and shipping out Watson for a 2nd rounder+. Thomas already has shown flashes of being a better receiver than Watson anyway.

    What I like most about Graham is his grit. He's a mean and nasty dude in a good way on the field, just the way we like them. Keeping Graham would keep me happy.:D
  10. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/reiss_pieces/2007/01/franchise_tags.html
    Tune, you of all people...the only place I have ever seen a "sourced" report that Graham was unhappy and wanted out was in a Ron Borges' article during the Branch drill. That was "sourced" to an unnamed friend of Grahams, reportedly repeating a private conversation on the subect. I'll trust Riess to have a more accurate feel for the situation.

    EDIT: When estimating Graham's value, you have to also figure in his being named Captain. Blocking, receiving, Special Teams, and now leadership all need to be factored in.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2007
  11. Patriot_in_NY

    Patriot_in_NY Rookie

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    Count me in the "Graham wil be back camp". I think {about 60/40} a deal wil get done. If not, I think that Graham will get tagged before Samuel. Graham is arguably the best blocking TE in the biz. That will be valued. Our offense is also totally different when he is in, as opposed to when he is out (injury).

    As for Samuel (or DB's in general), we seem to be very content with bringing in about 327 DB's into camp an seeing what floats to the top. Granted, I think Hobbs could step up and if Gay is not signed elsewhere (and is healthy), I can see letting Samuel go (particularly if we are faced with an 8M hit on him).

    Our defense is predicated on pressure from the front backwards and it seems as if thats the way we prioritize too. Botton line, Graham on Offense is more valuable then Samuel on Defense. The fact that the TE francise hit is only ~4.3M as opposed to 7.8M helps as well.

    Optimally, I think we work hard on a deal for Graham soon, but if it it don't get done, and we have to choose between the two?? My money is on Graham.

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