New Orleans Saints’ Jimmy Graham: ‘I want to play for [the team]’

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The New Orleans Pelicans announced that former All-Pro wide receiver Jimmy Graham will be returning to the team after a one-year, $2 million contract extension that runs through 2021.

New Orleans, which announced the extension Tuesday, has also added cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Curtis Lofton.

Graham, who signed a one-, two- or three-year deal last season after signing with the Saints in 2015, said he has no regrets about the decision to return to the franchise.

“I have no regrets,” Graham said.

“I know that this franchise is going to have to do a lot of things.

But I’m not going to be a part of that.

That’s not who I am.

It’s not what I’m about.

It was a team decision.

We were all here to win, and I felt that this was a great opportunity to do that.”

Graham, a four-time Pro Bowler and All-Star, is coming off a breakout season with the Panthers, recording 1,664 yards on the season with 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

He added seven rushing touchdowns and eight receiving touchdowns.

Graham was the team’s leading receiver with 19 catches for 281 yards and four touchdowns.

He is now the fourth-leading receiver with 11 touchdowns.

Graham is one of the top targets in the NFL and is considered a two-down receiver.

He also is known as a tough guy on the field, but he was able to lead a team to a playoff berth in the 2016 season.

“Jimmy has been the best receiver I’ve ever had,” said former Saints receiver Roddy White, who is now an analyst for ESPN.

“It was a matter of when and how much, not if.

I think the fact that Jimmy was able as a player, as a teammate, was just incredible.

I mean, he was so humble, he wanted to be the best and it just was a joy to watch.”

Graham has a contract that pays him $2.9 million this season, which is his highest salary in his career.

The team’s next salary cap hit will be $1.6 million.

New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones signed a five-year contract extension with the team in July that runs from 2020 through 2022.

Jones, a second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, will become a free agent after the 2018 season.

He has recorded 1,077 tackles, eight sacks, four forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries over the past two seasons.

Jones was a first-round draft pick in 2014 and spent his first two seasons with the New England Patriots, but was released after the 2016 campaign.

Jones has a cap hit of $8.5 million this year, and the Patriots have about $9.5 billion in cap space to work with.

Jones had been one of several players who could have easily been traded for New Orleans this offseason.

Former Patriots receiver Steve Smith is in the final year of his contract with the franchise, and former NFL center John Miller, who retired in 2017, is entering his third season.

Jones is the team captain.

New York Jets quarterback Jacoby Brissett signed a two-, three- or four-year extension with New York this offseason that will pay him $8 million for 2019.

He had been under contract for $10 million through the 2019 season.

Brissett was one of a number of Jets who were targeted in free agency, including former New York Jets wideout Brandon Marshall, who was traded to the Carolina Panthers.

Brisset had just one catch for 21 yards in his first season with New England.

Brittany Gainer covers the NFL for ESPNNew York and ESPNNewYork.com.

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