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Jimmy Graham isn’t “keen” on the franchise tag

Graham AP

Saints tight end Jimmy Graham has spent the last couple of years not complaining at all about the team’s failure to reward his stellar play with a long-term extension.  Even as players like Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, drafted the same year as Graham, received their rewards after only two seasons, Graham didn’t say a word.

With his rookie contract completed and the franchise tag looming, Graham has broken his silence.

I’m not keen on the franchise tag,” Graham recently told NFL Network, via ESPN.com.  “That would be really unfortunate, but that is really all I have to say about that one.”

Graham shouldn’t be surprised.  Two years ago, the Saints used the franchise tag on franchise quarterback Drew Brees, declining to sign him to a long-term deal until only days before the July deadline for working out a multi-year contract.

Graham has played it out this far, and barring the outcome of the Pro Bowl he has managed to make it to free agency at full health.  He simply needs to let his agent navigate the process, fighting the tight end version of the tag if need be, and remain patient.

Unless Graham wants to leave — and some think there’s a chance another team may be willing to give up a pair of first-round picks to sign him away from the Saints — there’s no reason to get antsy now, not after playing two full seasons since the moment the 2010 rookie became eligible for a new contract he’s yet to get.

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16 Responses to “Jimmy Graham isn’t “keen” on the franchise tag”
  1. lsuzilla says: Jan 26, 2014 8:55 AM

    I’d hate to see him go, but, a pair of first round picks would really help us on defense.

  2. saints12013 says: Jan 26, 2014 9:38 AM

    Graham isn’t going anywhere. He’s getting tagged if the two sides can’t come to some sort of an agreement. Brees and Payton pretty much made him who he is so he should just accept the franchise tag and wait till his Big payday comes. He’s gonna get a big contract someday whether its from us or somebody else. These NFL players are spoiled if you ask me. If I knew I was gonna get a big raise eventually, I would wait it out until it happened. 6 million dollars to play one year. It actually might be more.

  3. oldlthrneck says: Jan 26, 2014 10:03 AM

    He had better take what he can get. He didn’t even show up in the playoffs. He can catch, but he doesn’t block and runs terrible routes. NO knows what they are doing. He will end up being paid what he is worth, not what he thinks he’s worth.

  4. travelingwillies says: Jan 26, 2014 10:28 AM

    Its really funny because the dude is an awful blocker but that has actually worked in his favor. He is so bad at blocking that the saints played him as a wide receiver so much that he is going to have to get franchised as a wide receiver. Not a good situation for the saints.

  5. travelingwillies says: Jan 26, 2014 10:30 AM

    If the saints tag him they are going to be in trouble. They are already over the cap, they are going to end cutting a lot of a good players just to keep Graham

  6. bert1913 says: Jan 26, 2014 11:26 AM

    Graham isn’t “keen” on blocking either

  7. beastmode5150 says: Jan 26, 2014 11:37 AM

    Jimmy is just tired . He hasn’t slept since the Seahawks game. Too many nightmares.

  8. cajuncannons says: Jan 26, 2014 1:05 PM

    What’s up with all the negative comments about Jimmy Graham? Everybody say that he can’t block. Do you realize that he has only been playing football for 5 years now? He didn’t play not one down if football until his senior year at Miami, He’s still learning the game. Plus, it’s the Saints fault that he isn’t a good blocker Bc he is constantly being used as a WR and not a TE. We’ve been using Ben Watson and Josh Hill as blocking TE’s.

  9. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 26, 2014 1:07 PM

    No team is going to give him the money and 2 1st round picks. He should embrace receiving the tag, otherwise he’s going to potentially drive his own stock down further in the future.

  10. burtmurphy1 says: Jan 26, 2014 1:27 PM

    Pay him what he’s worth.

    In fairness to him, he’s out played that contract. And to tag him with the TE tag is also underpaying him.

    If I am not mistaken, the reason the saints are in this mess is because they typically go on a FA binge, then kick the can down the road later.

    Which is fine. (It’s very effective). But to then ask Graham to just “take” a lower salary is a slap in the face.

    I seem to recall some Saint fans saying he was better than Gronk a few years ago… give him Gronk money or let him find a team that will.

  11. asseenonokra says: Jan 26, 2014 1:27 PM

    For the record, the Saints had a top five defense. Two first round picks would help out the o-line and the WR corps that lacks dependable down field threats. No one is worried about the Saints going deep like they used to.

  12. doubleogator says: Jan 26, 2014 2:10 PM

    Don’t be shocked if some team ponies up for the two first round picks….

  13. jackericsson says: Jan 26, 2014 3:59 PM

    If players aren’t “keen” on the franchise tag, then ask the nflpa to negotiate it out of the agreement. But what would the players have to give up? The rules were negotiated between the nflpa and owners, so abide by the rules that have already paid you millions!

  14. sayly75 says: Jan 27, 2014 6:52 AM

    It’s alright Saints sucks anyway. Its better to go somewhere, where you would have a better shot. Without Graham Saints have no offense. Common Saints fan be real where did all your offense came from?

    No running game, Your WRs sux, Your DEF sux and Brees the only thing that is good but only in an indoor stadium. New Orleans Aints.

  15. ravforu says: Jan 27, 2014 7:06 PM

    They need help on Offense and primarily, the Offensive line. Receivers might be a little slower, but if they can add another speedster like Stills the Saints will be okay. It’s just that Offensive line that’s their current problem.

  16. cursedvikings1998 says: Jan 28, 2014 8:58 AM

    Ahem. He lined up as a wideout over 50% of the time. I wish everyone would stop refering to him as a Tight End. That’s not how the Saints have been using him.

    16 touchdowns in one season? Who cares if he can block?

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