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Jimmy Graham Not Thinking About The Big Money…Yet

(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

After coming off of a terrific season like Jimmy Graham’s 2011/12 campaign, many athletes would be thinking about getting a little bit of a raise.

You won’t find New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham in the group however.

At least, not yet.

Graham, despite only one season of college football, and four seasons of basketball at the University of Miami, flourished in his second year with the Saints in 2011. Catching 99 passes, for 1,310 yards, and 11 touchdowns, Graham was second only to Rob Gronkowski in stats by a tight end in a single season, and those statistics were more than good enough to send Graham to the Pro Bowl last year.

What’s scary is that Graham could get even better. He’ll only turn 26-years old this football season,  and with only one year of college football experience, and two years of NFL experience under his belt, it’s reasonable to think he will improve.

After being drafted in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Saints, Graham caught 31 passes, for 356 yards, and five touchdowns  in his rookie year, before his breakout season a year ago.

Graham signed a four-year, $2.445 contract with the Saints prior to his rookie campaign.

It’s good to see that Graham has an intelligent approach about his contract right now. Sure, there’s always the possibility of him getting hurt, or just simply regressing, thereby costing himself from future dollars, but he also knows that if he puts up numbers even remotely similar to what he put up last season, this season, then he’s going to be one wealthy man at this time next year, or down the road.

You hate to get overly excited about a guy that has had only one big year, but I think if Graham stays healthy, and stays grounded, he can be one of the all-time greats at his position.

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