Now though, it was simply another signing that came and went. A couple of “down” years have switched the narrative on Graham really quickly.
So what's that done to him? According to Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com, Graham has done some soul-searching – and described the chip on his shoulder.
“I have a lot to prove,” Graham said, via Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com. “I mean, I have a big chip on my shoulder to do as best as I can with this new opportunity. I’m extremely blessed to be here with such a young group of guys that are so hungry. I know you guys aren’t in this locker room, but you can feel the buzz. You can feel the buzz in this building. There’s no excuses. No one is looking around and saying we got to do this, we got to do that. This organization has done a great job to keep us all healthy, to hold us all accountable.”
The new Bears tight end is not trying to pretend like the last few years were perfect.
In fact, his 2019 season with the Green Bay Packers saw him post his lowest receptions (38) and receiving yards (447) since his rookie year with the New Orleans Saints in 2010.
Meanwhile, his three touchdown receptions were just one higher than his career-low.
Graham is not far removed from some elite-type production seasons though. And there is no reason to believe that potential is suddenly gone from him.
The tight end seems to be happy with where he is in Chicago though. He has a lot of talent around him, especially at the tight end position. That should take a lot of pressure off the tight end to perform.
Meanwhile, he is not clear about the chip on his shoulder. It's hard to tell if he feels he needs to prove himself to the analysts and fans once again, or if he needs to prove it to himself.
Either way, Graham seems hungry. And we've all seen what he can do when he's on top of his game. So could 2020 be a bounce-back year for the tight end? Chicago might be in for a treat.