|03-03-2007, 11:09 PM||#1|
A new beginning!
Join Date: Aug 2006
Watermock - RIP
Interesting Dan Graham Article in RMN
March 3, 2007
He's known primarily as a two-time Super Bowl champion and a devastating blocker at his position.
But tight end Daniel Graham, the former Thomas Jefferson High School and University of Colorado star, wants to show everyone in the NFL he has some additional skills he can showcase, specifically in the passing game.
It's one reason he's closed the door on returning to the New England Patriots. And it was also was the focus of a Saturday meeting with the Denver Broncos, who want to sign him as an unrestricted free agent.
"My biggest concern going into the market is how teams are going to use me," Graham admitted. "I feel like all of my talents weren't being used up in New England. I wanted to catch more balls than I did up there. So I'm exploring which teams are going to give me an opportunity to do that."
Graham, 28, had his biggest season as a receiver in his second pro year in 2003 with 38 catches for 409 yards. He followed up that performance with a 30-catch season in '04 but has just 37 receptions in 23 games over the last two years combined.
One reason his numbers have been kept down has been injuries. Graham has yet to play a full 16-game schedule in his five seasons since New England made him a No. 1 pick six years ago. He's missed nine games the last two seasons. But the Patriots' scheme was just as culpable.
Graham feels he's been pigeon-holed as a blocker.
"It's not hard to see that," he said. "You watch any film and you can see I don't go out on routes, I'm in blocking."
Graham and his agent have discussed some financial parameters with the Broncos and the club remains a viable candidate for the player's services. Still, the tight end wants to see what free agency could bring elsewhere. He headed to Oakland on Saturday night, then he'll fly to Seattle on Sunday as part of his tour of the open market.
"Money is not the biggest factor," he said in discussing other priorities for a new home. "But I want market value."
Because Graham's receiving numbers aren't in the same realm as other big-ticket tight ends such as Kansas City's Tony Gonzalez, San Diego's Antonio Gates or the New York Giants' Jeremy Shockey, market value is perhaps more difficult to ascertain in his case. There's little doubt he'll help a team with his in-line skills, but that's hard to quantify.
"We don't know what it is because how they used me and my role up there," he said of his potential price tag considering his job description with the Patriots. "But coming out of college, everyone knew I could catch the ball. How I was utilized put me in the shadow."
Denver already has a solid pass-catching tight end in Tony Scheffler, but the team frequently employs two tight-end formations. Sign Graham and they'll have a pair of players at the position whose skills harken back to a previous time, when Dwayne Carswell and Shannon Sharpe were a tandem.
Graham certainly remembers that era. He's not only a Denver native, but his father, Tom, played for the franchise, so he knows Broncos history.
Yet sentimentality doesn't figure to factor into the decision. In fact, Graham has to consider the potential pitfalls against the benefits of possibly playing in his hometown. Sure, friends and family can watch him in person. But there's all the ticket requests and outside distractions here he wouldn't necessarily have in other cities.
"It's something I've thought about," Graham said. "And I know if I do come home it's something I'll have to deal with. But I'll be prepared for it if it happens."
It looks like Graham is interested in seeing how he will be used in the offense rather than just money.
|03-03-2007, 11:13 PM||#2|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Aug 2003
Well make no mistake if you play TE for us we expect you be able to be a threat downfield well at least be productive in the passing offense.
|03-04-2007, 12:31 AM||#5|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Albuquerque, NM
I get the feeling he wont be a Bronco. Or else he would have already signed.
Ofcourse I would be ecstatic to be wromg on this.