A breakdown of the Green Bay Packers' 2018 free-agent signings.
The Packers agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Wilkerson on Tuesday, a source told ESPN.com. Here's a closer look at the signing, which is expected to become official on Wednesday.
Grade: B. This is one way to improve the Packers' defense. While the holes on that side of the ball were more obvious at cornerback and outside linebacker, new general manager Brian Gutekunst decided to build up the defensive line. He already had two impact players there in Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark, in addition to an up-and-comer in Dean Lowry. There's nothing wrong with making your strength even stronger.
What it means: It frees Gutekunst up to address the secondary and the pass rush in the draft. ESPN's draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay have consistently paired the Packers with UT-San Antonio defensive end Marcus Davenport. That move could still make sense for the Packers at the No. 14 pick in the first round, but now they have more flexibility if they want it. The Packers still have to address their two biggest needs on that side of the ball.
What's the risk?: Which Wilkerson are the Packers getting? In the 2015, he recorded 12 sacks (along with 16 disrupted dropbacks, according to ESPN Stats & Information data). Then he signed a five-year, $86 million contract. In the two years before the Jets cut him earlier this month, Wilkerson combined for just eight sacks (including only 3.5 last season) and 13 disrupted dropbacks. Wilkerson had disciplinary problems with the Jets, leading to his benching late last season.
Jimmy Graham, TE
The Packers will sign tight end Jimmy Graham, who played the past three years for the Seattle Seahawks. Here’s a closer look at the signing, which was reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter and is expected to become official when free agency opens on Wednesday.
Grade: B. On the surface, it looks like a move that could pay significant dividends for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ offense. But how many people said that same thing last year when the Packers signed Martellus Bennett? Graham doesn’t come with the big personality that Bennett had, so that’s one big difference. But Graham is another 30-something tight end who has played for multiple teams, which is always something of a red flag.
What it means: Rodgers often has been at his best -- and the Packers’ offense has operated at its best -- with a receiving threat at tight end, à la Jermichael Finley and Jared Cook. Graham might not be the deep threat that Finley and Cook were -- his receiving yards dropped to just 520 last season from 923 in 2016 -- but he’s a touchdown machine, with 69 in his career. Since Graham entered the NFL in 2010 as a third-round pick, only Rob Gronkowski has more touchdown catches (76) than Graham among tight ends. Last year, the Packers had only two touchdown catches by tight ends -- one by Lance Kendricks and one by Richard Rodgers, who is headed for free agency.
What’s the risk: Graham dropped seven passes last season, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. That was tied for the second most in the NFL. His lack of production other than in the red zone suggests he might have lost a step at age 31 (he’ll turn 32 midway through this season). He also had a significant knee injury -- a torn patellar tendon -- in 2015, when he missed the final five games. However, he did not miss a game in either of the past two seasons. The Packers cut Jordy Nelson on Tuesday, so they essentially replaced one aging veteran pass-catcher with another, and this one doesn’t have any history or chemistry with Rodgers.