Jimmy Graham needs Jordy Nelson-like connection with Aaron Rodgers

From ESPN - March 13, 2018

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The two moves may have occurred independent of each other, but the Green Bay Packers' decision to sign tight end Jimmy Graham and cut receiver Jordy Nelson will forever be linked.

Its a good bet that the Packers would have moved on from Nelson whether or not they pursued -- and eventually came to an agreement with -- Graham on Tuesday.

There are those who believe Nelson still had something left in the tank. Thus, the 2018 season will be a comparison of what Graham does for the Packers offense to what Nelson could have given them.

It was that kind of emotional swing on Tuesday afternoon. One minute, ESPNs Adam Schefter reported that the Packers would sign Graham, perhaps the top free-agent tight end. Fourteen minutes later, he reported that the Packers would cut Nelson.

One can only imagine what quarterback Aaron Rodgers must have felt. In one day, Rodgers lost one of his best friends on the team but gained what could be one of his biggest weapons for this season.

Rodgers, like everyone else, had to see that Nelson wasnt himself late last season -- and not all of that should be blamed on fill-in quarterback Brett Hundley's inaccuracy. Nelson lacked explosiveness, as evidenced by his career-low 2.45 yards after the catch, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Any hope that the Packers might bring back Nelson at a lower cost than his $10.25 million scheduled pay for 2018 should have been dashed when new general manager Brian Gutekunst essentially said the next time they see Nelson will be at his eventual induction into the Packers Hall of Fame.


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