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Jimmy Graham returns to Saints on one-year deal

The New Orleans Saints have brought back an old friend.

The Saints announced on Tuesday that they signed five-time Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham to a one-year contract.

The reunion is a semi-stunner, given that Graham hasn't played since 2021 when he was with the Chicago Bears.

New Orleans drafted the Miami product in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft, and he went on to put up big numbers in Sean Payton's offense. In five seasons playing alongside Drew Brees, Graham put up 4,752 yards on 386 catches with 51 touchdowns, including leading the NFL in receiving scores with 16 in 2013. He earned three Pro Bowls and one first-team All-Pro nod in New Orleans.

After a contentious franchise-tag situation in 2014, Graham inked a four-year, $40 million contract with the Saints. A year season later, he was traded to Seattle along with a fourth-round pick for a first-rounder and center Max Unger.

Graham spent three years in Seattle, playing 43 games and earning two Pro Bowls. He then had two-year stints with the Green Bay Packers (2018-19) and Bears (2020-21).

At 36 years old, the question is how much the veteran TE has left in the tank after being out of football last season. In his final season with the Bears, Graham caught 14 passes in 15 games for 167 yards and a TD.

Graham joins a Saints tight ends room led by Juwan Johnson, Foster Moreau, Jesse James and (technically) Taysom Hill. If he makes the squad, Graham could be used as a red-zone threat for Derek Carr in 2023.

Elsewhere on the offense, New Orleans signed veteran guard Trai Turner to a one-year deal. Turner, a New Orleans native and fellow five-time Pro Bowler, is joining the Saints for his 10th year in the league. The 30-year-old interior lineman will be on his fifth team in five years in 2023 after spending the first six seasons of his career in Carolina.

Turner, like Graham, should provide depth at his position in New Orleans' offense, working behind projected guard starters Andrus Peat and Cesar Ruiz on the line.

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