The New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks have agreed to a trade sending Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham and a fourth-round draft pick to Seattle for center Max Unger and the 31st pick in the 2015 draft, the teams announced.
The trade is pending passed physicals by both players.
Graham, 28, is regarded as one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the NFL, a player who often lines up as a wide receiver. He has 4,752 receiving yards and 51 touchdowns since entering the NFL as a third-round pick in 2010. In his five seasons with the Saints, Graham had more receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns than any other tight end in team history.
The Seahawks had been involved in discussions to bring Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas to Seattle, but Thomas signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars instead. There was also some talk about Cleveland Browns tight end Jordan Cameron, but it was pretty clear that Schneider viewed the Graham deal as the one that couldn’t be passed up.
“The size, and what he does in the red zone,” Schneider said. “He’s scored 46 touchdowns since 2011, and outside of Marshawn Lynch and Dez Bryant, those are the top three guys scoring touchdowns in the last three years.”
Head coach Pete Carroll echoed those sentiments in a Tuesday conference call with local media.
Graham, who caught 85 passes for 889 yards and 10 touchdowns last season, signed a four-year, $40 million deal with the Saints last July. He immediately becomes a premiere pass-catching option for Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.
On the other side of the deal, the Saints bring in Unger, a two-time Pro Bowl selection who has started 67 games since being picked by the Seahawks out of Oregon in the second round of the 2009 draft.