Renton, Wash. - The Seattle Seahawks have traded center Max Unger and a 2015 first-round draft pick to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for tight end Jimmy Graham and a 2015 fourth-round draft pick pending both players pass physicals, the club announced today.
"We would like to thank Max for his leadership and the role he has played in helping establish our current championship culture. He is a former captain and has been a respected and valued leader for our consecutive Super Bowl teams. We wish him nothing but the best as he continues his career," said Seahawks General Manager John Schneider. "We are thrilled to have an opportunity to acquire a player of Jimmy Graham's caliber, and will remain relentless in our pursuit of sustaining that championship culture."
Graham was originally drafted in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft (95th overall) by the New Orleans Saints. In five seasons with New Orleans, he played in 78 games with 50 starts, recording 386 receptions for 4,752 yards and 51 touchdowns. He also played in four postseason games with three starts, 16 receptions for 210 yards and three touchdowns. In addition to being voted to the Pro Bowl following the 2011, 2013 and 2014 seasons, Graham was selected First-team *Associated Press *All-Pro following the 2013 season when he caught 86 balls for 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was selected Second-team *Associated Press *All-Pro following the 2011 season after recording 99 receptions for 1,310 yards and 11 touchdowns. Since 2011, only Marshawn Lynch (56) and Dez Bryant (50) have more total touchdowns than Graham (46). His 4,752 receiving yards in his first five seasons are the most by any tight end in NFL history.
Unger was originally drafted by Seattle with the 17th pick in the second round (49th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft. He is a two-time Pro Bowl center for the Seahawks (2012, 2013) and was selected as a First-team *Associated Press *All-Pro following the 2012 season. He has started all 67 games played for Seattle in six years with the team and has helped lead an offensive line that has led the NFL in rushing since 2011 with 9,285 rushing yards. Unger started just six games in 2014 due to foot and lower leg injuries, but started all three postseason games for Seattle.