Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis had a big hand in one of the three trades that kicked off the start of the new league year on Tuesday afternoon when he sent tight end Jimmy Graham to Seattle.
The move came as a shock to quarterback Drew Brees and plenty of other people because the Saints were less than a year removed from giving Graham a four-year, $40 million contract. Loomis attempted to provide an explanation for what he deemed a “bold move” during an appearance with Zig Fracassi and Bill Polian on Sirius XM NFL Radio on Tuesday night.
The explanation centered on the need to get better on defense.
“We’ve had a good offensive team for a number of years. We’ve been able to finish in the top four or five in offense in eight of the last nine years. We do well on that side of the ball, but we’ve got to get better on defense. There are three ways to get players in our league. That’s through free agency, it’s through the draft and then trades. We believe in using all avenues. We took one of our assets and turned it into some resources that we can hopefully improve our defense with.”
The first-round pick acquired in the deal can certainly be put to use on the defensive side of the ball, but Loomis will need to hit on it and their other defensive moves to make sure that they outweigh any drop in offensive production that may result from shipping Graham out of town.