Saints, Graham talks going nowhere

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Through three games, Saints tight end Jimmy Graham has 358 receiving yards and four touchdowns.

But Graham still doesn’t have a new contract.  Per multiple league sources, the Saints have made an offer.  Graham’s camp has not yet responded.

Graham has entered the final season of his slotted rookie deal.  Drafted the same year as Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, both of whom received long-term extensions, Graham is still waiting.

He may have to wait a little longer.  Or a lot longer.  Last year, the Saints waited as long as possible to sign quarterback Drew Brees to a multi-year deal, after he took every snap of a six-year, $60 million contract.

Brees got his deal after the Saints applied the exclusive version of the quarterback franchise tag.  Graham undoubtedly will get the non-exclusive version of the tight end franchise tag, setting the stage for an inevitable fight regarding whether Graham is a tight end or a receiver.

Meanwhile, look for Graham to continue to take the high road.  Though he has earned the ability not to carry the risk of serious injury, the Saints have shown that they won’t pay close to market value until the player has maximum leverage.

If Graham stays healthy, he’ll have it — especially if he prevails on the question of whether he’s a receiver for franchise tag purposes.

21 responses to “Saints, Graham talks going nowhere

  1. Graham will get a big contract…Graham will do what Brees did in his contract year, just wait it out cause he has all the leverage now…believe me, he talks to Brees and will follow his advice.

  2. They will have to work some serious magic to get under the cap. They are already sitting at over $121 mil for 2014 with their free agents (like Graham) off the books. Brees ($18.1 mil), Jahri Evans ($11 mil), Ben Grubbs ($9.1 mil) and Colston ($8.3 mil) have sizeable cap numbers for 2014. That’s almost 40% of their cap spent on 4 players.

    They will be challenged to come up with a way to squeeze the $10 + mil a year that Graham is going to require. They can only rob Peter to pay Paul so long, but eventually this catches up to you (like it’s doing to the Steelers).

  3. I would be shocked if Drew doesn’t restructure his contract at the end of this season. His push to be a 20 mil/season guy was simply because he was the top QB on the market and he had to continue to push the pay scale up for qb’s behind him. He will do what Brady did and restructure so the Saints can sign Jimmy and other free agents. There’s no way, however, that the restructure will be done during the season which is why the Saints can’t make a serious offer at this point.

  4. They better sign him or he’ll be taking his talents to either: Atlanta, the team who drafts bridgewater, Baltimore, or Kansas City

  5. So, the Pats rushed to shell out wasted cashola on a partying china doll and an incarcerated accused murderer; Mickey Loomis’ decision not to spend unnecessarily is proving to be the smart bet. Make no mistake, Jimmy G. will get his and remain Saintly, don’t you fans worry your pretty little heads about that!

  6. jimmy if you got love for the whole who dat nation like the whole who dat nation got love for you, you will keep it 100 and be our ride or die. you will get paid but plllzzzzz dont break the bank! think of the team, we will look after you!

  7. Calm down folks. The Saints have one of the best GM’s in the league. This is a business, Mickey Loomis’ job is to make the best deal he can make for the team… Graham’s job is to make the best deal for himself. As a Saints fan, I appreciate Mickey doing everything he can to make this as painless as possible for our cap numbers. You don’t just come out of the gate with an offer that makes him the highest paid TE in the history of the NFL because you “like” him and value him… you play hardball. That’s what successful business people do.

  8. The upper tier WRs make 11 million+ a year. jimmy Graham with his ability is worth 10 million a year easily. Pay this man his bread.

  9. Jimmy went to college at “THE U” and the Dolphins have $20+ mill in cap space and a need for a TE…just sayin!

  10. Paying him $1 more than what is necessary for a deal to be made would be foolish. This isn’t the Patriots, good GM’s don’t just hand out $40+ Million contracts to players like it’s Christmas. It’s called negotiating.

  11. I love my Saints, but they have to get this guy signed ASAP! He deserves every bit of money he asks for! He has done nothing but great things for this team and IMO is the best TE in the NFL! Please pay the man before you case hard feelings with him! At least he has Brees to talk to and help him keep his cool! Besides Jimmy is a 1st class kind of guy! PAY THE MAN!!!!!!!!

  12. Saints are gonna be 20M over the cap. Not sure how they gonna be able to sign Graham long-term or even tag him unless they plan on fielding half a team.

    My team is looking to have about 50M in cap space and they have a dire need at TE….. Look for Graham to be in a new jersey day one of the FA signing period.

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