Packers reportedly signing top tight-end target Jimmy Graham to three-year deal

The most accomplished pass-catching tight end of the 2018 free-agent class is off the market. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Green Bay Packers are signing Jimmy Graham to a three-year deal, which gives Aaron Rodgers the best tight-end target of his career.

Graham, who has spent his eight-year career with the Saints (five seasons) and Seahawks (three seasons), isn't much of a blocker, but he's a touchdown machine. Since entering the NFL in 2010, he's caught 69 touchdowns -- only two players, Rob Gronkowski and Dez Bryant, have more in that span, according to Pro Football Reference. 

Graham, 31, hasn't eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark since 2013 and he averaged only 9.1 yards per reception last season, but he'll immediately become Rodgers' best tight end because of his presence in the red zone. He's coming off a season in Seattle that saw him catch 10 touchdowns, all of which came inside the red zone. His dominance in the red zone takes on even more importance considering the Packers are releasing receiver Jordy Nelson, which Schefter reported just minutes after news of Graham's signing broke. Nelson ranks fourth in touchdown catches since 2010 (one spot behind Graham) with 65. 

A year ago, the Packers signed Martellus Bennett, thinking he'd become Rodgers' best-ever threat at tight end. But that move didn't work out. He was cut after seven games in Green Bay. According NFL Research, the Packers tied for the fewest receiving touchdowns (two) from their tight ends last season. So even without factoring in Nelson's release, tight end was already a clear need for the Packers.

With Graham signed (along with Trey Burton, who landed in Chicago), those in the market for a tight end will likely turn their attention to Austin Seferian-Jenkins

It's been a busy day for the NFC North. Not only did the Vikings win the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes, but the Bears then went out and signed a wide array of weapons for Mitchell Trubisky in WR1 Allen Robinson, tight end Trey Burton, and speedy receiver Taylor Gabriel. After seeing their rivals improve, the Packers landed the best tight end available in free agency. 

Your move, Lions.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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