Jimmy Graham: 'Gonna go prove a lot of people wrong'

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In his first year in Green Bay, Jimmy Graham wasn't the red-zone weapon the Packers hoped they were acquiring with a big-money contract. The tight end is aware of the dissatisfaction after a frustrating season that saw him score just two touchdowns.

"Obviously last year was disappointing for everybody. I'm not used to losing. I don't think anybody here is, you know?" Graham told Kelly Price of NBC 26 Green Bay on Sunday at his charity cornhole tournament. "And for me, it was not a good year. I'm completely focused on putting my best foot forward and being the player that I am: Scoring in the red zone and being that big threat on third down. I mean, I gotta get back to that. And I take it serious. It's something that eats at me every single day, not making the playoffs and sometimes not making the plays that I should have. So you better believe I'm gonna be ready."

Last offseason, the Packers signed Graham to a three-year, $30 million contract, hoping to finally stop the yearly revolving door at the tight end position.

His first season in Wisconsin didn't turn out as planned. In 16 games, Graham caught 55 passes for 636 yards and only two touchdowns, tied for his career-low. The 32-year-old never found consistent chemistry with Aaron Rodgers last season and struggled to gain separation from defenders.

Given his contract and production in 2018, Graham was considered a cut candidate early this offseason before the Packers paid his $5 million roster bonus in March. The Packers, however, decided to give Graham another go in new coach Matt LaFleur's offense to see if he can once again become a dangerous red-zone threat.

"I mean we all have our ups and downs," Graham said. "Obviously there was a lot going on last year for all of us in the building. But all that's in the past. I know the player that I am and I know I still have juice, I know I still can run. I'm gonna go prove a lot of people wrong."

With a young group of receivers beyond No. 1 target Davante Adams, the Packers need Graham to earn that bounce-back season he's promising.

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