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Saints trade Jimmy Graham to Seahawks for Max Unger, 1st-round pick

Andrew Weber / Reuters

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In an NFL offseason already filled with a number of shocking trades, the Seattle Seahawks made the most significant deal yet.

The Seahawks have agreed to a trade with the New Orleans Saints that will see the team acquire star tight end Jimmy Graham and a fourth-round pick in exchange for center Max Unger and a first-round selection.

Jay Glazer of FOX Sports was the first to report the trade Tuesday afternoon.

The unexpected deal came just minutes after Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported that Graham was among the many players the Saints were shopping on the trade market.

Like the rest of the football world, Saints quarterback Drew Brees was taken by surprise:

While the Seahawks are forced to part with some significant compensation in return, both a first-round pick and one of the league's best centers, Graham gives the offense and quarterback Russell Wilson an elite-level target in the passing game.

The 28-year-old has tallied 386 receptions for 4,752 yards and 51 touchdowns in five NFL seasons thus far, making three trips to the Pro Bowl and establishing himself as one of the NFL's most dominant receiving tight ends.

Losing such a productive player will certainly hurt the Saints' offense in the short term, but with so many roster needs to address and such little salary-cap flexibility to do so, acquiring Unger and an additional first-round pick in exchange for Graham's contract will be quite significant.

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