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Cheese Curds, 3/15: On Jimmy Graham’s potential impact on the Packers offense

It’s time to focus on what the newest receiving weapon for the Packers can do in Green and Gold.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers are putting a lot of eggs in the basket that Jimmy Graham is carrying. That much is clear this week, when the general details of Graham’s expected contract with the Packers were reported. The Packers are essentially swapping out a 33-year-old wide receiver in Jordy Nelson for a 31-year-old tight end in Graham for a similar amount of money but on a longer contract.

Yesterday, APC broke down how Graham could be a functional replacement for the departed Jordy Nelson on a micro level, but today’s curds look at the Packers’ offense as a whole and what the addition may mean for Aaron Rodgers and company.

Meanwhile, we have some speculation about a potential direction the Packers may go in the 2018 NFL Draft, a look at how the team’s salary cap allocation affects success, and much more.

NFL draft: Packers could package picks to move up | Packersnews.com
The Packers now hold the first pick on day three of the draft (once again) after trading with the Browns. Do they have enough to move up into the top 10 overall, and if so, should they do it to grab a player like Denzel Ward or Derwin James?

Jimmy Graham Will Help the Packers Become More of Who They Already Are – Setting The Edge
The Packers were already a great team once they got into the red zone, so what does Graham bring that they don't already have? Using some advanced stats, Justis Mosqueda shows that Aaron Rodgers is the NFL's best quarterback inside the 20, but he's just a little better than average otherwise.

Pros and cons of Packers signing TE Jimmy Graham | Packers Wire
While Graham's red zone skills are unquestionable, there still remains a perception that he isn't a field-stretching weapon in the middle of the field. However, it's possible that this may just be a function of how he was used in Seattle -- this route tree from a week 5 game last year shows that he never was asked to run a single vertical route.

Blake Martinez, Justin McCray parlay success into performance bonuses | ESPN
Congrats to the Packers players who earned performance-based-pay bonuses; Martinez gets the most on the team with about $384,000, which comes in at 14th among all NFL players.

The secret NFL salary cap formula successful teams rely on - SBNation.com
It seems that the perfect proportion of the salary cap to allocate to a team's top ten highest-paid players is between 50-59%. The Packers are sitting at 59.8% for 2018, but that's without including Jimmy Graham or Muhammad Wilkerson, which should kick them over into the 60+ range.

Seven potential landing spots for Tyrann Mathieu - NFL.com
The Packers are number six on this list; wouldn't it be fun to see Mathieu in Green and Gold? It's unlikely, but still a fun idea to bounce around.

NFL free agency 2018: Vikings trade with the Broncos for Trevor Siemian - SBNation.com
The Vikings saw all three of their quarterbacks leave and have an entirely new group at the position; Siemian will back up Kirk Cousins and cost the Vikings just some late draft pick compensation.