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Mickey Loomis “optimistic” about Graham deal, but says no April 22 deadline to get it done

Mickey Loomis AP

Last month, Mike Florio reported that the expectation was that the Saints and Jimmy Graham would reach agreement on a new contract before the April 22 deadline for Graham to file a grievance arguing that he should be franchise tagged as a wide receiver instead of as a tight end.

Coach Sean Payton said he though Florio “hit the nail on the head” during a subsequent interview on PFT Live, although there’s some confusion about whether or not that deadline applies to Graham. Florio discussed that on Wednesday’s PFT Live, a clip of which you can find below, and General Manager Mickey Loomis said Wednesday that the team does not view the April 22 date as a deadline for getting a long-term deal done.

Whenever a grievance must be filed, the Saints still have a July 15 deadline to sign Graham to a multi-year deal before the only options would be for Graham to play out the year under the tag or sit out the season. Loomis said he’s “optimistic” that a deal with Graham will get done, but he didn’t give any indication about when that might happen.

“I don’t have an answer for that,” Loomis said, via ESPN.com. “That’s a two-way street. You know, you guys [in the media] have been through this lots of times. I think all of us would rather have things done sooner rather than later, but it doesn’t always happen that way. So we’ll keep going, we’ll keep at it in the process. Obviously we want to have Jimmy Graham on our team when training camp begins, and I am sure he wants to be with us. So we’ll just keep plugging away at the process. He’s got a great agent. And all his people, they know what they’re doing, and so do we. Hopefully we’ll come to a conclusion at some point.”

If Graham does file a grievance, there will naturally be some big differences between the sides as they make their cases before an arbitrator and that would likely slow down any negotiations on a longer deal that may be going on. If the deadline for that grievance isn’t a factor, though, there’s plenty of time for the sides to talk before Graham would have to pull the pin on the grenade that he’s got in his arsenal.

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16 Responses to “Mickey Loomis “optimistic” about Graham deal, but says no April 22 deadline to get it done”
  1. bcajun says: Apr 10, 2014 10:03 AM

    Tight End

  2. skippynj says: Apr 10, 2014 10:28 AM

    Best GM, Coach and TE in the game.

  3. 87hollywoodhorn says: Apr 10, 2014 10:43 AM

    The Saints do not need Jimmy Graham. We were the number one offense without him, we won the superbowl without him.
    Overpaying him (8+ million/yr), could break us for years to come.

  4. bostonbadass says: Apr 10, 2014 10:45 AM

    Dude’s soft.
    Bang him around &he disappears.

  5. jgslamdunk says: Apr 10, 2014 11:04 AM

    Never doubt The Loomis

  6. ckruszka says: Apr 10, 2014 11:34 AM

    In Loomis we trust.

  7. bayoovoodoo22 says: Apr 10, 2014 11:58 AM

    The Loomisnater

  8. ariani1985 says: Apr 10, 2014 12:28 PM

    Lomis gate!

  9. boisestatewhodat says: Apr 10, 2014 12:50 PM

    Sir Loomis!

  10. crawfish2011 says: Apr 10, 2014 1:45 PM

    Mickey Loomis aka Warren Buffett

  11. whodat5150 says: Apr 10, 2014 2:00 PM

    Mick will get it done but the Saints need to start getting out in front of some of these contracts. Whatever we sign him for, it would have been cheaper to have re-signed him after the 2012 season. Say what you will about Bill Belichick but he gets out out in front of the contracts of young players that could be cap busters, if they play to fruition. If Cam Jordan has a big year (and I believe he will baring injury) that’s gonna cost us BIG. Good 3 technique DEs are a commodity so we can’t afford to let him go.

  12. grimreaper12 says: Apr 10, 2014 3:33 PM

    Jimmy Graham is a overweight WR. He’s no Tight End. He can’t block at all, which makes the Saints offense very predictable. Give me Vernon Davis, Gronkowski, or Kyle Rudolph any day over this schmuck.

  13. boisestatewhodat says: Apr 10, 2014 3:47 PM

    You see though grim…we like Graham because he scores more touchdowns than anyone in the league.

  14. BigAlHeBDMan says: Apr 10, 2014 4:03 PM

    Graham will remain a Saint. Negotiations take time. He’ll have to come up with a new TD move, since he can’t dunk over the goalpost anymore. Hopefully he gets to do it a lot this year.

  15. nocajunboy says: Apr 10, 2014 8:57 PM

    This is not good! We could lose this guy for the year if he wins his appeal as we will not pay him as a wide receiver, just a prototype hybrid tight end ( who can’t block worth a hoot)and wideout so he may sit out a year and move on. I would hate to lose a future all Hall of Famer baring injury, of course, as always, but Loomis knows we can’t afford him as a wide receiver, as he is not!

  16. jason9696 says: Apr 10, 2014 11:51 PM

    Jimmy (Idiot) Graham. How did he do against the Seahawks last year?

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