As NFL Free Agency crunch time approaches, many players are beginning to wonder about their future, seeking clarity on their respective situations and weighing their options. For Kicker Shayne Graham, that process ended before it really began as the New Orleans Saints announced they have re-signed the 13 year veteran to a one year contract.
Graham was signed to replace a struggling Garrett Hartley in mid December for the stretch run of the regular season and post season. Though he missed both of his attempts in poor conditions during the Saints' divisional round loss at Seattle, Graham connected on all 6 of his other attempts and was perfect on extra point tries. He will earn a base salary of $955,000 in 2014.
K Shayne Graham warms up before the Saints week 17 game vs Tampa Bay
The Saints Kicker position has been somewhat of a revolving door over the last several seasons since the departure of John Carney. Hartley, a hero in the 2009 NFC Championship game, looked for a time to be a long term solution, but a groin injury and several key misses ultimately led to his release. Enter Graham, who actually had a stint kicking for the team in the 2000 preseason before beginning somewhat of a journeyman career. Graham ended up finding a home in Cincinnati from 2003-2009 before a string of key misses led to his departure and reignited his NFL tour of duty. Having been through the highs and lows that most specialist players endure throughout their careers, Graham will look to give the Saints the consistency they need from a position that will be counted on to supplement their potent offense with important, timely points.