Report: Saints, Graham still several millions dollars per year apart

AP

With six days to go until the deadline for applying the franchise tag, the Saints and tight end Jimmy Graham remain far apart on a long-term contract.

According to Mike Garafalo of FOX Sports, the current gap stands at several million dollars.  Per year.

Garafolo pegs the likelihood of Graham leaving the Saints at zero percent, predicting that Graham and the Saints are headed for a franchise-tag fight.  As we’ve previously explained, however, there’s a chance that a franchise-tag fight will result in Graham leaving the Saints.

If the Saints tender Graham as a tight end, Graham will file a grievance under the labor deal, arguing that he’s actually a receiver.  If the Saints lose, Graham likely will argue that the Saints shouldn’t be permitted to re-issue the tender at the much higher receiver amount, since the deadline for using the franchise tender will have passed.

The end result could be a decision that the NOS are SOL, and that Graham is an unrestricted free agent.  At that point, Graham would be able to sign with anyone — and the Saints would be entitled to no compensation.

51 responses to “Report: Saints, Graham still several millions dollars per year apart

  1. go w/ the non exempt tag and get 2 #1’s. Whether he is a TE or WR, he only touches the ball 6-7 times a game. 2 #1’s will easily offset those few touches.

  2. Look, if you allow players’ compensation to be determined solely on the basis of what the team elects to call the player (rather than where he actually plays), you’re going to have teams calling their quarterback a fullback.

  3. In the words of Gordon Gekko “So Bud (Fox), you thought the tail could wag the dog?” There is now way the NFL owners are going to allow any player to dictate what their position is. This unbiased arbitrator, if needed, will certainly understand his “place.”
    Besides, JG’s agent is asking for 12 million a year. Sorry Jimmy. We can get a game changer, 3 starters and 4 situational players for 12 million.

  4. WR or TE?

    TE’s will line up wide and even today they play a lot out there but I’ve NEVER seen a WR get down in a stance and block on the end of the line and that’s what the NFL will hang their hat on.

    He’ll be considered a TE and there will be much gnashing of teeth by sites like this – in the end, he who has the gold makes the rules and while players get paid a lot, they’re rich – NOT wealthy. Owners are wealthy – they’ll win.

  5. They may be at 0 percent to not retain him, but once they do they could have very high percentages for other players that they won’t be able to retain in 2015 and 2016 which are already looking to be in pretty bad shape. I can see why they would be highly motivated to try and trim Graham’s pay down.

  6. Graham should lose the battle. The excerpt seems to be misapplied here. The TE can go out on pass routes as an eligible receiver. When there is a tackle eligible play the tackle reports as an eligible receiver not as a tight end though he is usually lined up with the lineman. The rule was probably meant to protect players that play a completely different role (like the Was the Pats were playing as DBs). A TE is an eligible receiver and therefore those plays that are gonna be added up would still fall under the job description of a TE.

  7. The NFL contract clearly states that franchise tags are determined by the position by which the player played the greatest percentage of plays the previous season.

    Traditionally, players split off of the line of scrimmage were considered wide receivers.

    The NFL and NFLPA did not negotiate any change to the past practice of classifying wide receivers that way.

    Jimmy Graham is sitting pretty if this goes to arbitration.

    Shame on the NFL for not addressing this in the last CBA.

  8. When the playoff’s came calling for Graham, he was invisible. Wide out or TE, he was a non factor.

    What are Left Outs demanding on the free agent market ?

  9. 12 million is a joke. He is the product of a system. Heck he did not know how to play the game before the saints coached him. So for all the saints hard work and coaching he wants 12? Just take 5% over gronk and be done with it already.

    To think anyone that is not ap or qb is worth 12 million is just plain stupid cuz receivers can’t carry a team by themselves and only one back can!

  10. Question-

    If Jimmy Graham is a WR, why did he never complain about being labeled a TE?

    Why did he enter the draft as a TE?

    Why did he accept his first contract as a TE?

    Why does his Twitter status say:
    New Orleans Saints Tight End #80. Private Pilot?

  11. Funny how the part got left out where Graham is reportedly asking for $12mil/year. The Saints aren’t the bad guy. He just wants a fortune.
    PS- 2 first rounders. Any takers?

  12. jjb0811 says:
    Feb 25, 2014 8:35 PM
    go w/ the non exempt tag and get 2 #1′s. Whether he is a TE or WR, he only touches the ball 6-7 times a game. 2 #1′s will easily offset those few touches.
    _________________________________

    Looking at him solely in terms of “touches” is simplistic and, respectfully, amateurish.

    It’s not just about how many times he makes a play. It’s about how he changes defenses to allow *other players* to get open and make plays.

  13. Good luck Jimmy. Why haven’t the Saints just offered the high for the TE position, if they that’s what he is.

    Why wait? If they lose the grievance, they’re gonna have to pay top $$ anyway. Based on the technicality, if they play it wrong, they shouldn’t get a second bite of the apple. If the CBA deems him a WR, then they should not be able to tag him.

  14. funny to hear that the franchise tag is destroying the NFL when it hasn’t been used yet this year.

    I don’t care for the franchise tag, but I think the NFL has bigger issues.

  15. Let him go. He disappears in the big games anyway. He is soft. You could pick up several solid free agents for the price of one overrated Jimmy Graham. Get another tight end in the draft. The Saints won the Super Bowl without a truly elite tight end anyway.

  16. It doesn’t matter that he is technically a TE. He plays a lot as a wide receiver anyway. There is nothing wrong with Graham wanting more money if the Saints use the franchise tag. These players are risking their lives and their careers could end at any moment so I don’t have a problem with them chasing the money.

  17. green41563 says:
    Feb 25, 2014 8:36 PM
    Look, if you allow players’ compensation to be determined solely on the basis of what the team elects to call the player (rather than where he actually plays), you’re going to have teams calling their quarterback a fullback.

    —————————-

    I’m a Bills fan, so I have no horse in the race. With that said, he was drafted as a tight end. His 2012 2nd team All – Pro was the tight end position, his 2013 1st team all pro was tight end, and both years pro bowl selections was at the tight end position. I’m sorry, but you’re a tight end. If your a receiever, then you need to set up NOT on the Left or Right side of the tackles.

  18. Graham has lost his ******* mind…

    If he wanted to be paid big time, then he should have produced at the big times…

    …and he didn’t…

    Franchise Tag, Non-Exclusive and the Saints can collect two No. 1’s for their third round pick they developed in their system…

    …and they’ll find another…

  19. They paid Brees whatever he wanted when it came to his contract & it opened Pandora’s box for this to happen. They should’ve extended Graham before the season started. If your used like a receiver, and produce like a receiver, you should be paid like one. Jimmy has out produced all the WRs on the Saints roster for 3 seasons, leading in yards, catches & TDs. Pay the man 4 the work he’s put in!

  20. Saints should be blaming their formation guru whiz kid coach who split him out so much. The CBA clearly states its “where he lines up most frequently” that determines compensation.

    The saints want to play him as a wideout and pay him as a tight end.

  21. teal379 says:
    Feb 25, 2014 8:50 PM
    WR or TE?

    TE’s will line up wide and even today they play a lot out there but I’ve NEVER seen a WR get down in a stance and block on the end of the line and that’s what the NFL will hang their hat on.

    He’ll be considered a TE and there will be much gnashing of teeth by sites like this – in the end, he who has the gold makes the rules and while players get paid a lot, they’re rich – NOT wealthy. Owners are wealthy – they’ll win.

     And TEs only recently(last decade and a half)began lining up in the slot. Jimmy Graham is NOT widely regarded as a threatening blocking back. He is however regarded as a HUGE offensive downfield weapon ala Gronk. The TE tag will go up a little due to guys like Graham but there are far too many pedestrian TEs that get no catches because they are in all essence another offensive lineman. An impartial mediator or judge will take all the facts into account and rule based on said facts. Graham has a viable argument in that he runs routes far more than he stays home to block, even if he’s being deployed as a decoy. How many other TEs can boast his stat line? This isn’t simply a case of owners $$$ wins the day. I think Graham may earn his right to a payday.

  22. He’s not going anywhere but honestly the Saints are paying way too much for him. If he goes up against a physical corner he gets shut down like he did against the Seahawks twice and the Patriots.

  23. There’s the big WR the Eagles need. Resign Maclin, let Cooper walk and add Graham. JG can line up anywhere and imagine him on the field with Jackson, Ertz, Maclin and Shady.

  24. whosgotitbetterthanruss says:
    Feb 25, 2014 8:42 PM
    Nobody has got it better than Russ-ell Wil-son!
    _________________________________

    Moneywise….every other starting QB in the NFL.

  25. patsfan1820 says:
    Feb 26, 2014 1:08 AM
    He’s not going anywhere but honestly the Saints are paying way too much for him. If he goes up against a physical corner he gets shut down like he did against the Seahawks twice and the Patriots.
    _________________________________

    Talib took himself out of that game trying to be physical with Graham and Jimmy got a plantar fascia tear which he played on the rest of the year. There was an obvious drop off in his play after he got injured in NE and he still had an outstanding year.

  26. If the Saints lose I will meet you on main street; However, this is the first I have heard of this scenario and it would be devastating to receive no compensation. If there is any great chance of this happening and we could get 2 1st round picks for him I would take it.

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