Could the Jimmy Graham factor help the Chicago Bears finally nab a franchise quarterback? According to his latest column for Pro Football Talk, NFL analyst Peter King revealed that the current Bears tight end — and former teammate of Russell Wilson — could potentially influence the Seattle Seahawks quarterback if rumored trade talks ever become a reality.
Rumors have been running rampant for a month now regarding Wilson’s discontent in Seattle, and multiple analysts have suggested a trade could be imminent, and it’s possible — although extremely unlikely — Wilson could even get traded this offseason. Here’s what King had to say about why the Bears may be a very intriguing possibility for Wilson, whose agent has Chicago on the quarterback’s short list of desired trade destinations.
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Graham Has Told Wilson ‘Good Things’ About Chicago
King says Graham has been in Wilson’s ear telling him all good things about Chicago:
As for the Bears, I think there are three things at play: Chicago tight end Jimmy Graham is a good friend of Wilson’s, and he’s told him good things about the team and the city. Wilson loves the sporting zeal of the city, the love for the Cubs, the love for the Bears, and might look at it like, ‘Chicago hasn’t had a lot of great quarterbacks, and I could be one. Maybe I could be the missing piece, and how crazy would Chicago go if the Bears ever got great again?’ And I think he loves the city.
King also noted that there is very little chance that if — and it’s still a very big if — Wilson gets traded, he’ll go to any team other than his top four, which remain Chicago, the Dallas Cowboys, Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints.
“I think there’s a very good chance Wilson would balk at going to any of the other 28 teams if the Seahawks try to trade him there,” King wrote. “Time will tell if ‘balk’ means ‘I’m not going,’ or ‘You’re going to have to do a heck of a sales job on me to get me to go to Place X.” For now, I hear Wilson is dug in on the places he’d accept a deal, if it comes to that.'”
Graham & Wilson’s Bond is Strong
Graham and Wilson were teammates in Seattle from 2015-17, and the two have remained tight outside of the game. Graham was a groomsman in Wilson’s wedding to pop star Ciara in 2016, and their history together can’t hurt the Bears’ chances.
The veteran tight end made two Pro Bowls in his three seasons with the Seahawks, and he had an undeniable chemistry on the field with Wilson under center. Graham had 2,048 yards receiving and 18 touchdowns in his three years in Seattle, and he was easily one of Wilson’s favorite targets.
Graham also saw firsthand how well Wilson deals with stressful situations on the field, and he knows that when the game is on the line, there are few more capable quarterbacks than Wilson, who has 24 4th quarter comebacks in his career. After a come from behind win back in 2017, Graham said the following about the 32-year-old quarterback:
“(Number) 3 is special. It’s crazy because at those moments, 3 has the most confidence you’ve ever seen. It’s just unbelievable, his mindset and his focus at those times, how upbeat he is. You believe every time.”
Whether Wilson will ever give Bears fans a reason to believe remains to be seen, but it’s certainly a pipe dream worth holding onto if you’re Chicago. Crazier things have happened, and Russ clearly wouldn’t mind cooking in the Windy City.
If Jimmy Graham being on the #Bears is going to help make them an attractive spot for Russell Wilson, I'm definitely keeping him on the roster.
They could save big money by cutting Graham, but if this Wilson trade does have any wheels, you do whatever it takes to get him.
— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) March 1, 2021