By his standards, Jimmy Graham is having a down year for the Bears this season. Regardless of his reduced role in the offense in 2021, he’s had an unbelievable career and has a strong case to be a first ballot Hall of Famer. But there’s still one big hole in his accolades case.
“I’ve been chasing the ring for a long time,” Graham said. “Actively chasing it, from many decisions that I’ve made that were well less about money and more about the ring.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever be satisfied with it if I’m not carrying some type of hardware after all the work and all the dedication. I’ve given a lot to get to the point that I’m at today.”
Looking back now, signing with the Bears in 2020 was not a great choice if Graham’s No. 1 priority was hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. But Graham defended his decision to come to Chicago.
“They went on a run that was pretty special, so I got to see a lot of that,” Graham said. “And to be a part of that— I know what wins games, which is defense and special teams and a team dedicated to running the ball, and I knew we had some really good young backs. There was a lot of upside.
“You could say the same when I made the decision to go to Green Bay. We struggled for two years on offense. We fired Mike McCarthy my first year there, and that was very difficult. You just never know. Sometimes it’s timing, and sometimes you’ve gotta pick and choose as you have and I have done that.
“I don’t regret anything I’ve ever done or any decision I’ve made in this league. I’m blessed to be here, part of this team, a part of these guys and a part of this franchise.”
Since his ultimate goal remains unaccomplished— and more than likely will remain accomplished at the end of this season, Graham didn’t bite when asked when he’ll know it’s time to call it a career. Instead he offered up a wry quip.
“I’m sure my body will let me know, and I’m sure the league will let me know because nobody will want me on their team.”