March 10, 2015 at 10:22 PM CDT - Updated August 22 at 3:45 AM
The Saints organization released the following statement:
The New Orleans Saints announced today that they have agreed to a trade to acquire Seattle Seahawks center Max Unger and the Seahawks' first round draft pick (31st overall) in 2015 in exchange for tight end Jimmy Graham and New Orleans' fourth round draft choice in 2015 pending both players pass physicals.
The announcement was made by Saints' Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis.
“First off, we would like to thank Jimmy for all that he has done for our organization for the last five seasons,” said Loomis. “He became a very productive tight end with our team. We wish Jimmy the best of luck in the future. We also want to welcome Max to our team. Max has been an instrumental Pro Bowl player with Seattle since being drafted in 2009 in the second round. In addition, with the first round draft pick, we will have the opportunity to impact our team for years to come.”
“Coming to us from a primary basketball background with limited experience in 2010, Jimmy immediately got to work in the weight room, on the practice field and in the playbook and quickly evolved into one of the top tight ends that I have ever coached, said Saints Head Coach Sean Payton. “Decisions like these are always difficult and we wish Jimmy the best of luck. We're excited to add Max to our offensive line. He is a tough, physical player where he blocked for one of the top rushing offenses in the NFL, he has been a solid contributor to Seattle's success.”
Unger (6-5, 305 pounds), a second round draft pick of the Seahawks (49th overall) in 2009 out of the University of Oregon, is a six-year NFL veteran and two-time Pro Bowl selection. He has started all 67 games he has appeared in for the Seahawks. In 2013, Unger started 13 regular season contests as well as all three postseason games and was voted to his second consecutive Pro Bowl for the Super Bowl XLVIII Champions, while leading the charge for a ground game that was ranked fourth in the NFL. In 2014, Unger opened six games in the regular season and then returned from ankle and knee injuries to start all three postseason contests for Seattle, including Super Bowl XLIX.