There was a period of time a few years back in which Jimmy Graham had a legitimate claim to the title of best tight end in the NFL. Then he got traded by the New Orleans Saints in 2015 and just kind of fell off the map. Graham is still bouncing around the league, though, and is suiting up for the Chicago Bears this season.
ESPN interviewed Graham to talk about Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski is in the midst of a revival season with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. His former team will play Graham's former team on Sunday when the Saints visit New England. Graham told ESPN's Mike Triplett that he took his rivarly with Gronkowski so seriously that the only thing hanging in his house for the first four years he was in the NFL was an 87 jersey to remind himself how hard he had to work.
“I’ve never told anybody this,” said Graham, who was drafted 95th overall in 2010 -- 53 picks after Gronkowski. “My first four years in the league, I actually had Gronk’s jersey hanging in my bedroom. I didn’t have a TV hanging in my room, I had Gronk’s jersey hanging in my room. Literally it was the only item I had hanging in my house. So every morning I had to wake up and I knew that I needed to get to work.
It's extremely hilarious to imagine what has to be a big, beautiful home purchased by an NFL player with millions of dollars had nothing on any of the walls except a singular Gronkowski jersey in Graham's bedroom. I wonder if it hung directly above his bed to ensure it was the first thing he saw every morning. What did he say when someone asked about the bare walls?
If these walls could talk, they'd be mildly concerned about Jimmy Graham.