Former Saints TE Jimmy Graham to row across Arctic Ocean in July 2025

Jimmy Graham will embark on the Arctic Challenge in July 2025. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Former New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham is ditching his gloves and cleats for rowing gear.

Graham announced Monday he will participate in the Arctic Challenge, a 1000 kilometer (621.3 miles) trek where a four-team group will row nonstop across the Arctic Ocean in July 2025.

The team will sleep a maximum of 90 minutes at a time and is expected to be at sea for 10-21 days, rowing 24 hours a day in two-hour intervals.

Former U.S. Navy Seal Andrew Tropp, 2021 USRowing's Female Coastal Athlete of the Year Hannah Huppi and 2021 bronze medalist in rowing John Huppi will join Graham on the journey. The former tight end is the "lead navigator" of the challenge.

It will start at Tromsø, Norway and finish at Longyearbyen, Norway. The group will use a 9.6 meter vessel that includes two cabins and is made of carbon fiber. They are expected to experience 24 hours of daylight.

There are multiple records on the line -- most notably a Guinness World Record for the first mixed-gendered team to row the Arctic Ocean. Athletes Guinness World Records include the first women to row the Arctic Ocean, first Black person to row a polar ocean and first married couple to row a polar ocean.

It's also the first All-American team to row a polar ocean and could potentially be the fastest four-person team to row the Arctic Ocean -- the current record for a four-person group is 15 days, 5 hours and 32 minutes.

The mission of the challenge includes partnering with three nonprofit organizations that "support disadvantaged youth."

"Through this challenge, we will showcase the power of determination, teamwork and resilience, and I am thrilled to use it as a platform for empowering kids to pursue their wildest dreams," Graham said on the Arctic Challenge website.

Graham shared on Saints DE Cameron Jordan's podcast in January that he has never rowed in the open ocean or been on a rowboat.

However, according to the website, he will have 18 months of preparation and training for the journey.

"It just really gives me something to look forward to and something that athletically I can push myself in a new direction," he said. "And I don't have to take hits anymore. I can just sit there and just get to work."