It’s crazy how some people just can’t wait for the Seahawks to get rid of Jimmy Graham.
When news of Jared Cook’s visit broke, the immediate reaction by some fans was: “The Seahawks are planning to cut or trade Graham.”
Of course, that is all poppycock. Even if the Hawks had not just paid Graham a $2 million roster bonus, they were never going to cut him. And a trade is very unlikely, too. John Schneider was pretty clear at the Combine: Graham will be with the Seahawks in 2017.
The Cook visit was more about Luke Willson — either as a possibility to replace him or as leverage to get him to take Seattle’s offer.
Cook is the top remaining free-agent tight end in the NFL, having been displaced in Green Bay by Michael Bennett’s brother, Martellus, and Cook’s former Rams teammate Lance Kendricks.
The Seahawks are most likely looking to pay around $2 million for a No. 2 tight end. Cook made $2.75 million with the Packers in 2016 and could still find someone to pay him $3 million or $4 million.
Some think the Hawks are using Cook as leverage against Willson, whose market publicly has been quiet so far.
The Seahawks are not desperate to have either Cook or Willson. They really like Nick Vannett and always could bring back Brandon Williams and/or draft a guy out of a deep tight end class.
Among the other free-agent options in Willson’s class are Mychal Rivera and Gavin Escobar.
As for Graham, we previously covered the team’s options: Extend him or let him play out the final year of his contract (at $10 million).
We think the Hawks will extend him; but, if they are planning to let him play out his deal, it certainly would help to have another tight end signed alongside Vannett for 2018. If it’s not Cook or Willson, it will be another vet or a rookie.