Brees was “shocked” by Jimmy Graham trade

Yes, Drew Brees hopes to retire as a Saint.  Tight end Jimmy Graham probably hoped to do the same.

But Graham is gone, and Brees talked on Thursday about the trade that sent Graham to Seattle, only one season into a four-year, $40 million contract.

I think it shocked all of us,” Brees told WWL Radio, via ESPN.com.  “A lot of crazy things happened, though, during the course of free agency for a lot of different teams.  Unfortunately, you’ve been around long enough, you see some of these things happen at times.  If anything it shows the confidence our organization has in the young players, especially the young skill players on offense, just feeling like those are guys that now have a chance to step up and fill a big void and fill a big role and continue to progress forward.”

That doesn’t mean Brees won’t miss Graham.

“Jimmy was like a brother to me,” Brees said.  “He was close to so many guys on the team.  That part of it is something that people lose track of.  As a football player, he’s a rare, rare talent.  Not having a guy like that on the field with you is a difference-maker.  Just the relationships that you build in the locker room, that’s really the part that’s the hardest, just because you’re used to being around each other and the way your families do things together.  You build a relationship and you become very close.  But then, things happen and all of the sudden you’re on a different team.  It doesn’t change the way we feel about each other.  We’re just not going to see each other all that often.”

While that may spark some to suggest that Brees has a problem with the departure of Graham, keep in mind that Brees was pragmatic last year about Graham’s absence while wrangling with the team over his franchise-tag designation.

“Look at our numbers over the last eight years,” Brees said at the time.  “We’ve had a lot of different guys in there.  Jimmy’s only been here four years.  He’s only been here half the time.  We were putting up some pretty big numbers before he got here, and we’ve been putting up some big numbers since he’s been here.  Hey, we do what we do.  It’s nice when you can have guys like Jimmy, and obviously he’s a big part of our offense.  If he’s in there, we’re going to try to get him the ball.  We’re game-planning ways to get him the ball, ways to put him in the best position to succeed.  But if he’s not, somebody else is going to get those touches.  We’ll put those guys in position.”

That’s ultimately one of the reasons why the Saints traded Graham.  They believe they can move the ball without him.  Also, they believe there’s no real correlation between Graham’s success and the team’s success.

Ultimately, it’ll be one of several interesting experiments for NFL teams that have made bold additions and subtractions for 2015.

78 responses to “Brees was “shocked” by Jimmy Graham trade

  1. Lets see how many…
    ‘Drew Brees want an explanation’ comments we get.
    I guess over 50 not the under…

    By the way its time to move on from that statement…it been overdone.

  2. Shocked? C’mon Brees. A good part of the reason your team won’t have great success in the near future is your contract.

  3. Maybe this had something to do with it Drew;

    biggest cap hits next tow years;
    1. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints: $26.4 million for 2015, $27.4 million for 2016. $53.8 million total.

    2. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons: $19.5 million for 2015, $23.75 million for 2016. $43.25 million total.

    3. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens: $14.55 million for 2015, $28.55 million for 2016. $43.1 million total.

    4. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers: $17,245,000 for 2015, $23,950,000 for 2016. $41,195,000 total.

    5. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions: $17,721,250 for 2015, $22,500,000 for 2016. $40,221,250 total.

    6. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos: $17.5 million for 2015, $21.5 million for 2016. $39 million total.

    7. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: $18.25 million for 2015, 19.25 million for 2016. $37.5 million total.

    8. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys: $14,973,000 for 2015, $20,835,000 for 2016. $35,808,000 total.

    9. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears: $16.5 million for 2015, $17 million for 2016. $33.5 million total.

    10. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs: $15.6 million for 2015, $17.8 million for 2016. $33.4 million total.

  4. And that is the bottom line. Right or wrong (and their track record leans toward “right”) the Saints believe they can be just as successful or successful enough on offense to let Graham go while he has high trade value.

    Their most pressing needs are shoring up the offensive line and getting help on defense. For Graham they got a pro bowl center use to working with a smaller qb AND a good draft pick.

    Looks like Payton wasn’t joking about everything being under evaluation.

  5. Look Drew, it’s easy to understand. The Saints team was in salary cap hell from overpaying some players (including yourself at $26M+ per season). There are consequences for the team and who they can afford to keep because you and your agent demanded and got so much. Baltimore also lost some top players for the same reason with Flacco’s hefty contract. In stark contrast look at Tom Brady’s selflessness in taking a huge cut for the best interests of the team.

  6. They can move the ball without him. He’s not quick enough to be a WR which is why he struggles against press coverage and not a traditional TE as he a horrible run blocker.

  7. Brees is shocked?

    They traded Graham because of Mikey Loomis’s incompetence at managing the salary cap, highlighted by Brees being owed $26 million this year.

  8. That’s ultimately one of the reasons why the Saints traded Graham. They believe they can move the ball without him. Also, they believe there’s no real correlation between Graham’s success and the team’s success.
    ============================
    Chew on that haters lol

  9. Brees is such a liar that it makes you laugh at his stupid comments. When asked about trade rumors involving himself, here is his comment, “……. . I have a close enough relationship with everybody within the Saints organization that if something was going on, I would have heard about it from them.”…………..but yet he wants us to believe that he was “truly shocked” when he heard about the Graham trade to Seattle. Brees couldn’t care less about any of his teammates, as long as he gets his money he will say whatever the team needs him to say.

  10. Brees is well worth the total value of his deal — which actually ranks fifth now in the NFL in average per year (behind Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco). Saints got a steal with Brees’ contract!!!!!!!

  11. For EVERYONE that keeps saying it’s Brees’ fault because of his contract.

    Uh, nope! He didn’t structure the contract, he just accepted it.

    And, he offered to restructure last year and the Saints weren’t interested.

    And, Loomis already stated this year that they were not interested in restricting Brees’ contract at all and it wasn’t a topic of conversation.

    So, if the Saints management people DON’T want to do anything with his contract, then what is he supposed to do? Give them the money anyway?

    Come on, Saints knew what they were doing when they gave him that contract. If it’s a real issue for them, they would ask.

    Apparently, it isn’t.

    Give it a rest, PLEASE!

  12. Lol the Saints will struggle mightily without Jimmy, and the Seahawks will win the Super Bowl, take it to the bank.

    —————————————————-
    And HOW do you figure that?

    Saints won the SB BEFORE Jimmy. And before everyone we let go this year with the exception of Thomas.

    Saints have had a Top #5 offense for the ENTIRE 9 years that Brees and Payton have been on board and that was FOUR years before Jimmy was ever even heard of.

    We MADE Jimmy what he is and he worked well in the Saints offense. He won’t work that well in a run-first offense in Seattle. Brees made Jimmy into what he is and sorry, but Wilson IS NO Brees.

    Brees typically throws to 7-10 different receivers in a game, we will be fine.

    Oh, and we have a TE, Hill, that in physical traits and attributes almost mirrors Jimmy. He’s only one inch shorter, bested Jimmy in the vertical and 40, bigger hands AND most importantly, tied Jimmy in TDs last year with 1/3 the receptions.

    Saints will be just fine, or maybe that’s the problem, you scared!

  13. Give it a rest, PLEASE!
    =====================
    Haters gonna hate……….

    —————————————————
    Haters gonna hate, I’m a Saints fan!! Not hating, tired of hearing people who don’t have a clue spout off about something that is actually nothing, at least to the Saints and that’s all that matters.

  14. It’s interesting to see people complain about QB salaries, why not complain about the cap? It’s not as if the NFL isn’t a multibillion dollar industry, purposefully paying a league minimum salary to half of it’s players. Heck, why not cut the cap in half, and not allow anyone to be paid more than the POTUS?

  15. Give it a rest, PLEASE!
    =====================
    Haters gonna hate……….

    —————————————————
    Haters gonna hate, I’m a Saints fan!! Not hating, tired of hearing people who don’t have a clue spout off about something that is actually nothing, at least to the Saints and that’s all that matters.
    ==========================
    Was just pointing out to you that the haters will always hate no matter what we say……

  16. He’s been beyond outspoken for players contracts, has a monster one himself, which we all know hamstrings teams, and portrays himself to be Mr. Righteous when I think he’s a farce, and is shocked Graham got traded lol!! He should play for nickles after Miami didn’t want him, and the Saints and Payton saved his career. Almost 30mm against the cap is a joke for 5’9″ system QB. NO will never make the playoffs again while he’s there.

  17. He’s been beyond outspoken for players contracts, has a monster one himself, which we all know hamstrings teams, and portrays himself to be Mr. Righteous when I think he’s a farce, and is shocked Graham got traded lol!! He should play for nickles after Miami didn’t want him, and the Saints and Payton saved his career. Almost 30mm against the cap is a joke for 5’9″ system QB. NO will never make the playoffs again while he’s there.
    ========================
    Love having Brees on the Saints… Top 5 of every major statistical category for QBs OF ALL TIME… All the negative nellies would LOVE to have Brees, a perennial pro bowler, leading there respective teams…. Just saying lol

  18. He was asked to take a pay cut to keep Graham and he said no. He plays everything off as he does not know anything… Time to live in from Drew as good as he is because there is no money mgmt to sign anyone else….. Am I am not a fan of the Saints

  19. Brees, sean and mickey destroyed the saints. all of them overrated. especially cap geek mickey.

  20. He was asked to take a pay cut to keep Graham and he said no. He plays everything off as he does not know anything… Time to live in from Drew as good as he is because there is no money mgmt to sign anyone else….. Am I am not a fan of the Saints.

    ————————————————-
    ABSOLUTELY not true! Loomis said himself, in a radio interview in New Orleans, when asked the same question, about Brees’ contract, that they had not approached Brees’ about a restructure or pay cut and had no intention of doing so because “it’s not necessary and not in our realm of conversation.”

    Geez, if you can’t believe the GM, then who can you believe?

    This came from the horse’s mouth.

    So NO, Brees did not refuse to take a pay cut, NOR did the Saints ask him to restructure his contract.

    People must be jealous of Brees and the Saints, because they just keep making stuff up!

  21. If you look at the situation impartially, it IS rather shocking that the Saints would commit that many years to a player and then trade him only a year later. That sends a rather negative message to other players on the team or potential free agents who want to get paid fairly. If you’re not the QB, you’re expendable.

  22. Drew, I thought engineers had to have some math skills! Run the numbers, or get you son to do it for you.

  23. Was Drew Brees shocked before or after he was diving in his money like Uncle Scrooge McDuck?

  24. smuggs1 says:
    Apr 3, 2015 8:36 AM
    Maybe this had something to do with it Drew;

    biggest cap hits next tow years;
    1. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints: $26.4 million for 2015, $27.4 million for 2016. $53.8 million total.

    2. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons: $19.5 million for 2015, $23.75 million for 2016. $43.25 million total.

    3. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens: $14.55 million for 2015, $28.55 million for 2016. $43.1 million total.

    4. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers: $17,245,000 for 2015, $23,950,000 for 2016. $41,195,000 total.

    5. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions: $17,721,250 for 2015, $22,500,000 for 2016. $40,221,250 total.

    6. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos: $17.5 million for 2015, $21.5 million for 2016. $39 million total.

    7. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: $18.25 million for 2015, 19.25 million for 2016. $37.5 million total.

    8. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys: $14,973,000 for 2015, $20,835,000 for 2016. $35,808,000 total.

    9. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears: $16.5 million for 2015, $17 million for 2016. $33.5 million total.

    10. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs: $15.6 million for 2015, $17.8 million for 2016. $33.4 million total.

    ==========================

    One of these guys are not like the others.

  25. They couldn’t restructure Brees without extending the contract in order to pro-rate the money they would be converting from base to bonus. They were unwilling to extend him because he’s already getting up there and they’d rather avoid the problems you can watch happening with Dallas. There was no altruism involved.

  26. Only so much money to go around. For everybody to get “theirs,” somebody else has to get dumped. End of New Orleans’ era. They’re doomed.

  27. Needless to say, as a Seahawks fan I LOVE the trade, but it baffles me that not only did the Saints trade JG to a fellow NFC team, but to the 2-time defending NFC Champion where receiving help was one of the few needs.
    Not to pour salt in the wound, but as great of a guy and player that Max Unger is, the reality is that in return they got an oft-injured Center that is rumored to be contemplating retirement in a couple years so he can tend cattle on the family ranch in Hawaii.

    I sincerely hope N.O. can hit on the 1-31 pick they got in the trade to alleviate my guilt from the fleecing.

  28. What a phony. I’m willing to bet management came to him about restructuring his contract so they can keep Graham and he told them to go pound sand…

  29. I dont understand how people can say the Saints made this move because of being in “cap hell”. Trading Graham netted the Saints a negative amount of cap room. You dont trade a player because your in cap hell to get less cap room.

    The trade was all about jettisoning a soft player who had a bad year by his previous standards. For all the talk of him being unstoppable I personally watched him get stopped an awful lot last year.

  30. The main reason we traded Graham was because we were worried about his long term health. I do agree Brees is greedy. And anyone that thinks Graham is gonna put up numbers in Seattle like he did in N.O. is a straight up fool. Seahawks are a run 1st team and honestly their passing game coordination is mediocre at best. Plus he’ll never play a full 16 game season, he’s not built like that.

  31. They were on the hook for his $9 million base and $3 million pro-rated bonus. That’s a $12 million cap hit before they traded him. The trade relieved them of the base, but accelerated the remaining amount of the bonus, so they took a total of a $9 million hit this year for Graham. They also cut the remaining $18 million base salary off the next 2 years.

    They inherited Unger’s salary this year ($5.5 million), but that was for a position of need. In other words, they were going to have to pay for a good Center anyway.

    The trade was about them slashing and burning their cap problems while bolstering the offense so they could go into the draft and get rookie defensive help (cheap).

  32. This trade was a win for both teams. Seattle got a big receiver that stops teams from loading the box with 8 defenders. While the saints got some cap relief, a probowl center and a first round pick to help the defense.

    Go hawks!!!!!!

  33. Drew Brees is a greedy punk! He’s lucky the Vikings giftwrapped him the super bowl win.

  34. saints12013 says: Apr 3, 2015 2:14 PM

    The main reason we traded Graham was because we were worried about his long term health. I do agree Brees is greedy. And anyone that thinks Graham is gonna put up numbers in Seattle like he did in N.O. is a straight up fool. Seahawks are a run 1st team and honestly their passing game coordination is mediocre at best. Plus he’ll never play a full 16 game season, he’s not built like that.

    At least we’re praying so…

    ~ Rest of NFL

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