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.