Some have criticized Jimmy Graham for his contract wrangling with the Saints this offseason, but those people should consider his history before judging him in any fashion, writes Jeff Duncan of The Times-Picayune. Duncan outlines Graham’s childhood history which included being abandoned by his mother and stepfather before landing in a less-than-desirable foster care situation. “Obviously I know where I came from, and I know how hard it was to get here and so I’m going to cherish every moment of it and do everything in my power to never go back,” Graham said. More from around the NFL..
- As the Seahawks prepared for the 2014 draft, their execs considered game tape, player statistics, and all the typical barometers of future success. But they also studied players’ backgrounds, looking deep into the DNA of each young man’s character, writes Dan Pompei of Sports On Earth. True to their word, each of the first six players the team chose in the draft overcame adversity in some manner, though some was of their own doing. “If people have had a lot of adversity and have proven they can overcome that adversity, the chances for them to have success at the next level are going to be better,” General Manager John Schneider said. “It’s important to us to find guys who have a chip on their shoulder and feel they have something to prove.” Second-round choice Paul Richardson was arrested for stealing a backpack as a UCLA freshman, and was subsequently dismissed from the school. He later transferred to Colorado to start over, but he missed his junior year after tearing his ACL before coming back to have a very productive senior season. Like Richardson, fellow second-round pick Justin Britt tore his ACL in 2012 but also bounced back strong.
- The Packers have had the fortune of employing some legendary GMs, writes Martin Hendricks for the Journal Sentinel. Current GM Ted Thompson ranks No. 4 on the list while the great Vince Lombardi occupies the top spot.
- While Browns rookie cornerback Justin Gilbert is finding his niche at his position, it’s been a bit of a rougher road for fellow rookie Pierre Desir, the team’s fourth-round selection this year, writes George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal. Desir finds himself listed third at one corner spot behind Joe Haden and Isaiah Trufant on the recently released depth chart.