Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC West [Print without images]

Friday, March 4, 2011
Keeping an eye on Daniel Graham

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

The Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos battled hard over Patrick Kerney and Daniel Graham during the 2007 free-agent signing period.

When the Seahawks landed Kerney, the Broncos made sure they signed Graham, a powerful blocking tight end coming off a successful run with New England.

Kerney has since retired and Graham reached a point this offseason where his contract became untenable for a Broncos team with cash concerns and a new coaching staff seeking to start over. Denver released him.

Graham could resurface as a candidate for Seattle once the NFL and its players have a new collective bargaining agreement in place. The Seahawks' new assistant head coach/offensive line, Tom Cable, was on the staff at Colorado when Graham played for the Buffaloes. That connection could help now.

Seattle needs to upgrade its running game. Graham, 31, started 16 games last season, but the Seahawks wouldn't need him to do much more than blocking. They'll be looking to upgrade their running game through an improved offensive line, and Graham would serve as an extension of that line.

Seattle released veteran tight end Chris Baker on Thursday before his contract called for a $500,000 bonus.

The St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs also have ties to Graham -- and to Baker, for that matter. Rams offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was with Baker and Graham in New England, and with Graham in Denver. Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli was with both in New England.

McDaniels' immediate ties to Graham and the Rams' stable quarterback situation could make St. Louis an attractive landing spot for him, should the Rams decide they want to shake up their situation at tight end. Billy Bajema has played well for them, and Mike Hoomanawanui looks like a keeper.