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Jimmy Graham getting an MRI on his foot

Graham AP

Saints fans everywhere should be holding their breath today as the best receiver on the team gets his injured foot checked out.

Sure, he’s not officially a receiver.  But tight end Jimmy Graham is for all practical purposes a receiver who lines up tight to the tackle roughly 40 percent of the time.

Graham, per a league source, is getting an MRI to determine the extent of the injury suffered during Sunday’s loss to the Patriots.  In the final year of his contract, Graham has retained the injury risk while the Saints have, as they did with Drew Brees two years ago, delayed getting a deal done for the kind of compensation Graham wants.

Little has been leaked about the negotiations.  As best we can tell, Graham wants to be paid like a top receiver.  The Saints want to pay him like a top tight end.  Given the difference, an impasse has developed.

The impasse likely will hinge on the looming fight over whether Graham is a tight end or a receiver for franchise-tag purposes.  Based on how he has been used through six 2013 games, the Saints likely will be losing that argument.

UPDATE 1:50 p.m. ET:  A prior version of this story indicated that Graham’s injury was to his knee.  It’s a foot injury.

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32 Responses to “Jimmy Graham getting an MRI on his foot”
  1. Foghorn The IKonoclast says: Oct 14, 2013 1:07 PM

    Wow it seems to me that the new rules on hitting may be in part, part of the problem. It seems that injuries are mounting alarmingly fast in spite of measures to get injuries down.

  2. 87hollywoodhorn says: Oct 14, 2013 1:08 PM

    No! No! NOOOOOO!!!!

  3. ilovefoolsball says: Oct 14, 2013 1:09 PM

    Good thing they have a bye this week!
    Even without Graham the Saints still nearly won the game.
    If it wasn’t for the missed holding call on that final touchdown throw they might have even pulled it off.

  4. fryeways says: Oct 14, 2013 1:11 PM

    When you’re better than all but one receiver in the NFL, you should be paid like a receiver. It really is that simple.

  5. akasaintsbaby says: Oct 14, 2013 1:13 PM

    Best of luck to him.

  6. @Cereal_22 says: Oct 14, 2013 1:16 PM

    Sounds like a franchise tag.

  7. harrisonhits2 says: Oct 14, 2013 1:18 PM

    Sorry to see him injured he’s a great player even though he couldn’t produce last night.

  8. rpkllc says: Oct 14, 2013 1:19 PM

    Are you sure it is for his knee and not his foot?

  9. 12444uggg says: Oct 14, 2013 1:26 PM

    Graham is a monster, but remember he was getting shut down all day by Talib. Look for more teams to use their best CB on him all game.

  10. buddysguys says: Oct 14, 2013 1:39 PM

    i saw FOOT on the twitter machine…..i want answers.

  11. johnnyjagfan says: Oct 14, 2013 1:41 PM

    Man he’s probably the most fun guy to watch in the league right now. I’m even holding my breath on this one. Great story. Praying his contract year isn’t derailed by an injury. He’s leading the league in receiving yards, isn’t he? Pay him like a WR then. Good grief.

  12. crise40g says: Oct 14, 2013 1:44 PM

    They need to use Sproles more.

  13. jjzimmpa says: Oct 14, 2013 1:45 PM

    The argument that he should be paid like a WR is off base. Yes, Graham lines up out wide SOME of the time (Roughly 60%) but the fact he still lines up tight next to the tackle roughly 40% of the time, concretes that is he is TE. The Saints argument should be, what other WR lines up tight that much?

    The Saints should not be forced to pay Graham more money simply based on where he lines up and what he does (in the sense of him being paid as another position). Where he lines up in the formation is a product of the offense and also Coach Payton and his staff taking advantages of his skills.

    Let’s use another example, what if a player like Antwaan Randle El (College QB experience), joined a team that took advantage of his skills. Started to use him in the wildcat, reverse passes, screen to pass plays and he started to put up some decent passing stats. Would there then be an agreement that he should be paid like a QB cause he has achieved so decent passing stats?

    I really don’t think so…but that’s my opinion

  14. socalmaverick says: Oct 14, 2013 1:51 PM

    “buddysguys says:Oct 14, 2013 1:39 PM

    i saw FOOT on the twitter machine…..i want answers.”

    ——————-

    Is that YOU, Drew?

  15. detectivejimmymcnulty says: Oct 14, 2013 1:52 PM

    There aren’t many CBs like Talib that can matchup with Graham. Talib getting hurt in last years playoffs was one of the biggest injuries no one talked about.

  16. tennesseetitan78 says: Oct 14, 2013 1:52 PM

    The Saints are gonna have to cough up that $$$. The same thing happened to the Titans and Jarod Cook. They wanted to pay him TE money, and then considered the franchise tag as a TE even that was gonna have to be labeled a WR. Because it goes by where the team lines him up the most. That’s why the titans choose to let Jarod Cook walk instead. But Jarod Cook is no Jimmy Grahmn. The Saints are gonna have to find a way to keep him.

  17. jimmygraham2handslam says: Oct 14, 2013 1:56 PM

    12444uggg says:
    Oct 14, 2013 1:26 PM
    Graham is a monster, but remember he was getting shut down all day by Talib. Look for more teams to use their best CB on him all game.
    ––––––––––––––––
    Ummm you do realize teams have been trying this for a few years now right? Sometimes using their best CB AND their best LB or SS on the same play (especially in the red zone)…… Hasnt exactly gone as planned LOL.

  18. keylimelight says: Oct 14, 2013 2:04 PM

    Graham pulled up lame on his route resulting in a Brees interception on the play. JG limped to the sideline, got a re-tape on his foot and returned to the game a few plays later. After awhile, he sat for the rest of the game.

    I don’t think the prognosis will be bad and good thing the Saints are going into their bye week so I expect to see him in two weeks when the Bills come to town.

  19. steviaquinn says: Oct 14, 2013 2:16 PM

    All these Saints fans that cheered when Julio Jones got hurt are finally getting some Karma.

  20. pillowporkers says: Oct 14, 2013 2:19 PM

    @jjzimpa

    Except you are leaving out one important fact. Jimmy Graham is actually a good player (unlike Randle El) and is worth more than what the market says a TE is worth. If the Saints don’t want to pay him that much, that’s fine some other team will.

  21. 12444uggg says: Oct 14, 2013 2:19 PM

    Do you start sentences with “ummm” in real life @2 hand slam?
    So Talib wasn’t getting the better of him yesterday, got it.

  22. jzompanti says: Oct 14, 2013 2:24 PM

    Easy on the “missed holding call” The Saints got plenty of missed calls, including illegal head to head hits…The Patriots won that game with an injured team…now its your turn to try it

  23. pats1stfan1 says: Oct 14, 2013 2:43 PM

    Patriots had a great game plan to stop Graham last night before he got hurt, (hope he’s ok, he’s a great player), 0 catches WOW!

    But that’s what Belichek does…He takes away your best player and makes you beat his team with someone else…If you can.

  24. saintsfan1111 says: Oct 14, 2013 3:13 PM

    Ahhhh…mannnn

  25. mdd913 says: Oct 14, 2013 3:19 PM

    Probably a high ankle sprain. He had one of those last year and once you have one you become more susceptible.

    From what we saw yesterday though the Saints offense is still very effective without him. Ben Watson is still a hell of a player, Lance Moore is due back soon and the o-line/running game are really coming together.

  26. cowboycjn says: Oct 14, 2013 3:51 PM

    All the trash talk about Talib shutting down Graham – heck the guy was playing hurt. So if you out perform a hurt player that makes you something special. Some peoples kids- I swear! Simpletons from the word go.

  27. cowboycjn says: Oct 14, 2013 3:55 PM

    Bad calls from the refs – like Brees trying to call a time out – oh no let the Pats keep an intercepted ball after he gave the time out signal. They showed it plain as day over an over again. The hit on Sproles -no call, yet when the Saints made a solid hit with the shoulder and caused Pats to drop the ball – oh yes lets call the Saints for excessive roughness- give me a break it was fixed from the beginning.

  28. hpeters77 says: Oct 14, 2013 4:08 PM

    Cowboycjn your right

  29. phaktor333 says: Oct 14, 2013 4:14 PM

    People are on here talking like contract negotiations in the NFL are black and white. There are too many variables at play such as injury history, the manner in which the player is used and the presence of other viable options in the passing offense. JG is THE option in this offense and is actually redefining a position that Tony Gonzalez already redefined. Add that to his versatility, and people will automatically say he is a WR and should be paid as one. However, the risks inherent in his position are more prevalent due to the other duties that he has to take on in the run game and other routes he runs…things that Megatron and Fitzgerald don’t do. Should it add to his value or should it be a reason to slot his salary in the Gronk/Hernandez area? I think the Hernandez extension from last year should be the starting point for Graham as they are very similar players. If he can get healthy before the season is out, he should be able to blow away the contract benchmark for a TE while also being paid in bonus money that elite receivers get. The downside of any Graham extension would be that Colston probably gets released or traded. If there is an impasse that cannot be worked out, slap the Franchise Tag on him and wait him out…that would be about $6.5 million or so, which ain’t bad at all.

  30. thebirdofprey2 says: Oct 14, 2013 4:22 PM

    The Saints fan is right about using a CB on Jimmy. But Talib is a bigger CB at 6’1 around 205 pounds with good man and press skills.

    I can think of a few teams in the NFC with guys like that that will learn from it once he’s healthy again. He has been destroying the league this year.

  31. bucckevin says: Oct 14, 2013 5:37 PM

    Jimmy Graham should join the Patriots after this season…. can you imagine a double tight end set with him and Gronk?????!!!!

  32. johnclaytonsponytail says: Oct 15, 2013 6:02 PM

    If he goes to the probowl as a tight end and That’s what he is on the depth chart then He’s a TE. Running backs catching 100 balls aren’t wrs. They are Rbs. Period.

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