Jimmy Graham's childhood lacked some of the basics many take for granted. And that apparently figured in to the Saints' tight end's decision not to holdout for a lucrative, long-term contract as he enters the final year of his rookie deal.
''I'm a humble kid from very humble beginnings and I feel blessed to be in the situation that I'm in, so all I'm going to do is go out here and play football,'' Graham said Saturday at training camp. ''I think that's what I do best, and I think the rest of it will take care of itself.''
There was a time when a young Graham, who grew up in North Carolina, dressed during winter in a tank top, shorts and shoes with holes in them. For a while, he didn't even have a true home, having been abandoned by his parents, though that changed when he was adopted by a volunteer youth group leader at his church.
Now, however, as Graham enters his fourth season of pro football, he may be positioned for one of the larger salaries ever paid to an NFL tight end.