That’s what he resorted to during a conversation with Michael Irvin’s agent, Steve Endicott, about renegotiating Irvin’s contract.
“Jerry says to me, ‘Steve, you know that town out in West Texas, El Paso?’” Endicott recalls Jones saying of his proposal. ‘“Well, I think we’re going to El Paso on that.’”
Despite being mostly a basketball player in college (he played just one year of football at the University of Miami), Graham’s athletic gifts made him a fascinating NFL prospect. He ran a 4.56 at the combine while measuring in at 6’6, 260 pounds — a combination of size and speed that would make him an imposing matchup for opponents.
Sure enough, the Saints got the most they could out of Graham after selecting him in the third round of the 2010 NFL draft. He went on to be one of the most prolific tight ends in the game, scoring 51 touchdowns in five seasons with the Saints. In 2014, New Orleans gave Graham a four-year contract extension, worth up to $40 million with $20.9 million in guarantees. It seemed liked Graham would be a Saint for life, forming a career-long connection with Drew Brees similar to the one shared by Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates.
Unfortunately, Graham’s Saints tenure didn’t last long after that. He had another strong performance in 2014 with 10 touchdowns and 885 yards on 85 catches, but the Saints ran into salary cap hell in the offseason and needed to clear space off the books, so they decided to put Graham on the trade market. The Seahawks pounced, sending a first-round pick and center Max Unger to New Orleans.