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Former New Orleans Saints player Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham (88) warms up Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, before the Seattle Seahawks play the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Jimmy Graham will soon hit the open market.

The Seattle Seahawks are expected to let the tight end pursue other options when free agency opens on March 14, according to the NFL Network.

This raises an interesting situation. The Saints are in need of a tight end, and Graham was at his best playing in New Orleans. A source indicated this week that the Saints would have some interest in bringing the tight end back if he hit free agency, while another source said the team harbors no hard feelings over how things ended here.

The departure from New Orleans came during a period when the team was trying to remake the locker room and jettisoned several players, some of whom were key contributors, such as Graham and wide receiver Kenny Stills. Before Graham signed a new contract with the team, there was also a dispute over whether he should be considered a tight end or wide receiver.

Graham rose to prominence here during the first five years of his career, catching 386 passes for 4,752 yards with 51 touchdowns. He was traded to Seattle before the 2015 season for center Max Unger and a first-round pick that was used to select linebacker Stephone Anthony. With his new team, Graham caught 170 passes for 2,048 yards and 18 touchdowns over three seasons.

New Orleans could be interested in acquiring a tight end. The team hasn't received the production it was hoping for when it signed Coby Fleener to a five-year, $36 million contract before the 2016 season. He caught 22 passes for 295 yards before finishing last season on injured reserve with a concussion.

With the lack of production from Fleener and wide receiver Willie Snead losing his spot in the offense, the Saints enter the offseason in search of another offensive playmaker. Whether that player happens to be a tight end or wide receiver remains to be seen.

Follow Nick Underhill on Twitter, @nick_underhill.​