The Green Bay Packers didn't want Jimmy Graham, but Ryan Pace and the Bears did.
The 33-year-old former New Orleans Saints tight end agreed to terms Monday on a two-year deal with the Bears. Adam Schefter of ESPN has the terms at $16 million total with $9 million guaranteed.
The Packers cut Graham last week after 38 receptions, the fewest he's had since his rookie year of 2010, when he was playing for an organization that had Pace in the front office.
The biggest issue the Bears had at tight end last year was availability of players and there has never been an issue about this with Graham. He has played 16 games in seven of his 10 NFL seasons and hasn't missed a game since 2015.
This signing raises the question of whether the team plans to hang on to both Trey Burton and Adam Shaheen. Cutting Burton would require the Bears to eat cap cash. Of his $6.8 million in salary due this year, $4 million became guaranteed when he was on the roster last March. Shaheen is in the final year of his rookie contract and his cost against the cap is $1.9 million.
The Bears have a bus full of tight ends, almost literally. Besides Graham, Burton and Shaheen, they also now have Demetrius Harris, Jesper Horsted, Eric Saubert, Darion Clark, Dax Raymond and Ben Braunecker. J.P. Holtz is an exclusive rights free agent so the Bears retain rights of refusal to him.
Graham, who is 6-foot-7, showed the Bears last season he still has something. He caught a pass against Deon Bush's coverage in Chicago in the regular-season opener for the only touchdown of the game in the Packers' 10-3 victory.
At 6-foot-7, 265 pounds, Graham should be an improvement blocking-wise over what the Bears had at the position last year when Burton was injured and a handful of practice squad types shuffled in and out of the lineup.
Graham has averaged 64.9 receptions a season for his career for 788 yards. The Bears last year had 46 receptions by tight ends, and Burton didn't get to 60 when he was healthy in 2018.