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Julius Thomas keeping tabs on Jimmy Graham situation

Julius Thomas AP

The grievance over Jimmy Graham’s franchise tag is underway and Broncos tight end Julius Thomas is paying close attention.

Thomas is entering the final year of his rookie contract and stands to make a big raise before next season gets underway. As a result, he’s watching how things play out with Graham’s bid to be designated a wide receiver for franchise tag purposes “because it could probably come back to affect a lot of us tight ends.” The Saints and the league classify Graham as a tight end, but Thomas argues that the position shouldn’t matter as much as the production.

“Does it matter if he’s a tight end, or if he calls himself a slot receiver or a running back?” Thomas said. “I mean, if you’re going to have double-digit touchdowns and contribute a bunch of yards in the receiving game, I just say that you’re a guy that makes great plays and are a value to your team. So I don’t know why the argument necessarily comes down to either you’re a tight end or a receiver. I think that if you’re a guy that makes plays, that’s how you should be valued.”

It may not matter on the field, but the position matters because that’s the way the CBA has been set up. Thomas, who lines up in various spots around the offense, would likely try to make a case that he’s worth more than the tight end tag if Graham’s grievance is successful.

Of course, the Broncos already have a top-flight wide receiver they need to pay in the near future as Demaryius Thomas is also in the final year of his rookie deal. Getting a deal done with one would leave the franchise tag available for the other, although it is hard to predict which way would work out best for the Broncos in 2015 and beyond. The resolution of Graham’s grievance could provide some idea even if it makes it more difficult for the Broncos to hold onto both of their pass-catching Thomases.

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45 Responses to “Julius Thomas keeping tabs on Jimmy Graham situation”
  1. Marshawn Lunch says: Jun 20, 2014 5:07 PM

    If you are listed on the roster as a tight end then that is the end of the story! You want wide receiver money? Switch positions!

  2. stealthjunk says: Jun 20, 2014 5:08 PM

    I don’t see how you can consider either of these guys WRs. Everyone recognizes them as TEs — from the draft, to the pro bowl, to the teams’ rosters/programs, to the players themselves. Literally the first and only time they ever refer to themselves a WR is when the franchise tag is raised — if it wasn’t true, they should have raised their objection before then. TEs have been catching a ton of balls for years (e.g., Shannon Sharpe, Tony Gonzalez) — this is nothing new.

    The criteria for the rule may be bogus, but that bogus criteria is what the NFLPA negotiated and the players should live with — it’s not like they’re walking home empty handed even at TE levels. In any case, if enough TEs like Graham and Thomas start getting paid, it will become a moot issue anyway since the franchise tag pay for WRs/TEs will be very similar.

  3. hotzy21 says: Jun 20, 2014 5:09 PM

    DT is more important than Julius anyway

  4. logicalvoicesays says: Jun 20, 2014 5:11 PM

    Top 5 WRs in Professional Football – DeSean Jackson Pierre Garcon, Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and AJ Green. In that order.

  5. eagleswin says: Jun 20, 2014 5:19 PM

    The guy has one good year and all of a sudden he’s worried about making WR money.

    Repeat last year first, then worry about the money.

  6. sloppychimps says: Jun 20, 2014 5:20 PM

    Julius Thomas is nowhere near Jimmy Graham’s value.

  7. icallbs81 says: Jun 20, 2014 5:22 PM

    At this point isn’t every tight end that can catch the ball keeping tabs on the Graham contract situation…

  8. patriotsarespygaters says: Jun 20, 2014 5:24 PM

    LOL ELWAY MIGHT HAVE A EVEN BIGGER CAP HIT IF HE PAYS THIS GUY

  9. mikep363839 says: Jun 20, 2014 5:24 PM

    Top 5 WRs in Professional Football – DeSean Jackson Pierre Garcon, Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and AJ Green. In that order.

    damn the top 2 receivers on one team!…that quarterback must really suck

  10. notthetroll says: Jun 20, 2014 5:28 PM

    Vernon Davis- that should be your reaction to this issue.
    Very good way to put it from Thomas, and he makes a valid point. Perhaps in the next CBA they should label them all WRs and take out TEs for the sake of the tags. Who’s going to franchise a blocking TE anyway.
    and logicalvoicesays is still high.

  11. mburkett1980 says: Jun 20, 2014 5:29 PM

    Why are these tight ends acting like the TE franchise tag # is being brought down by TEs that aren’t receiving TEs? All of the top paid TEs are being paid because of their catching skills.

    Newsflash, all of you play the Y position. Sometimes, and even often, the Y position is flexed into the slot. Some teams prefer to bring in a receiver to play Y, but many prefer to just flex the TE out into the spot.

    All of the highly paid franchise receivers play X or Z. Neither Graham or Thomas can play the X or Z position and excel playing against cornerbacks every week rather than LBs and safeties.

    Defenses still treat tight ends as tight ends, even when they line up in the slot.

    This argument is silly. TEs cannot do what franchise receivers do. They don’t have the skillset and because of that, their dollar value isn’t the same as theirs is, regardless of production.

  12. mikep363839 says: Jun 20, 2014 5:30 PM

    Thomas is no where near as proven a player Graham is…I don’t even like Graham (soft as cottenelle) and would rather have Thomas but one good year does not make you a lock for the franchise tag heading into a contract year..thats just me

  13. loubearkane says: Jun 20, 2014 5:32 PM

    He lists himself as a TE in social media.

  14. guitarfreak21 says: Jun 20, 2014 5:35 PM

    What do you call a person who catches the ball? a RECEIVER! This is the biggest DUH ever… You can call a ham Mr President if you want, but really it’s just an absurd exercise in semantics.

  15. logicalvoicescowboybrother says: Jun 20, 2014 5:35 PM

    Jackson and Garson had 14td Combined ~ Bryant had 13td’s

  16. pdonnellon says: Jun 20, 2014 5:37 PM

    MikeP you are kidding right? Trying to get someone excited and argue with you? Not even the most blinded Skins fan could think that would be the list. The 1st 2 on your list are #2 wr’s forget about top 5 in the whole league.

    mikep363839 says:
    Jun 20, 2014 5:24 PM
    Top 5 WRs in Professional Football – DeSean Jackson Pierre Garcon, Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and AJ Green. In that order.

    damn the top 2 receivers on one team!…that quarterback must really suck

  17. nyyjetsknicks says: Jun 20, 2014 5:39 PM

    loubearkane says:
    Jun 20, 2014 5:32 PM
    He lists himself as a TE in social media.

    _______________

    So if I listed myself as the owner of the Yankees, Jets and Knicks on social media, I would own those teams? I mean, it’s on the internet so it must be true.

  18. kylexitron says: Jun 20, 2014 5:40 PM

    I’d imagine when you sign your contract it states what position you play yes/no?

    Don’t put your name on it and agree, then.

  19. lks311 says: Jun 20, 2014 5:43 PM

    Let me help you with future Tight End related stories:

    (Insert Tight End Name Here) of (Insert NFL Team Here) is keeping tabs on the Jimmy Graham situation.

  20. denver1983 says: Jun 20, 2014 5:50 PM

    Thomas is way better than that weird hair ginger boy Jimmy Graham

  21. elway6532 says: Jun 20, 2014 5:53 PM

    For a guy that had one good season after being a perennial IR listing, he sure has a lot to say.

  22. jasonculhane says: Jun 20, 2014 6:08 PM

    By the way, Julius hasn’t even had close to the career Graham has, Graham deserves the loot.

    Julius Thomas hasn’t even had a 1000 yard year yet…Nor has he even played a full 16 game schedule in the NFL. I admire his response, and those words make sense but much can be made that he’s another product of the system like Dallas Clark, Joseph Addai and there out of the NFL now.

    DT, needs to be signed, Julius will have to be franchise tagged.

  23. Getoffmylawn! says: Jun 20, 2014 6:23 PM

    So what next? Darren Sproles catches a lot of balls. Is he a WR too? With the devaluation of RB’s in the league I think this is next.
    You’re a TE.

  24. nickster31 says: Jun 20, 2014 6:31 PM

    This really shouldnt be this difficult.

    WR tag is $10 million
    TE tag is $7 million.
    (I know not the real numbers, just an example.)

    If a guy spend 60% lined up as a TE, and 40% as a WR, take 60% of the TE tag number ($4.2 million) and 40% of the WR tag ($4 million) and have the tag be $8.2 million.

  25. chrisknowsdbr says: Jun 20, 2014 6:45 PM

    Don’t try, he is saying that a long term deal should already have been done because of how vital Jimmy Graham is to the team. I don’t see Julius Thomas saying that he is as great as Jimmy Graham, but that the production from the position is important to see how much money they deserve.

  26. realnflmaster says: Jun 20, 2014 6:55 PM

    Jimmy Graham should force a trade to Denver so he can play for a real organization with the greatest QB of all time.

  27. coloradical420 says: Jun 20, 2014 7:01 PM

    Lets see what he does without Manning, that will determine his value. Don’t get me wrong, love Orange Julius, he is a beast, but he benefits from THE best passer in league history.

  28. herman23934 says: Jun 20, 2014 7:07 PM

    Tag should be based on salary within production range for pass catchers. Simple

  29. 2manyconcussions says: Jun 20, 2014 7:28 PM

    Clearly we need both wide receivers and tight ends and clearly there are differences in their physical attributes and abilities. With their height advantage, if there existed a tight end with all of the physical characteristic and athletic ability of a wide receiver, he would dominate the position. Sadly, this human being doesn’t yet exist. That is not to say that Graham doesn’t deserve more money, but receiver dollars? I think not.

  30. txraiderfan says: Jun 20, 2014 7:39 PM

    Yes, break it off in their “a”

  31. txraiderfan says: Jun 20, 2014 7:40 PM

    This is stupid. Pay them based on their actual value. Graham is valuable than most WR; therefore, pay him.

  32. txraiderfan says: Jun 20, 2014 7:41 PM

    more valuable than– correction

  33. corky2141 says: Jun 20, 2014 7:58 PM

    Calls themselves tight ends right off the bat. His agent probably cringed when he heard that

  34. 1952vikefan says: Jun 20, 2014 8:03 PM

    why should I care

  35. uglydingo says: Jun 20, 2014 8:17 PM

    If Jimmy Graham wins his grievance (which is possible), New Orleans Saints will have a problem paying him significantly more. They are currently close to the salary cap. They would have to make some significant cuts. Mickey Loomis is a whiz at juggling the salary cap but this time he has very little wiggle room. This could become very, very interesting. If Jimmy wins, the consequences are big to the Saints and other teams with underpaid seam threat tight ends.

  36. annunaki77 says: Jun 20, 2014 9:12 PM

    Hahahaaa hes not even half the TE Graham is. Put up at least 3-4 years of ALL PRO play first and let’s see if you can do that Without Manning hahaaaaa

  37. canetic says: Jun 20, 2014 9:44 PM

    What next? Will nurses start demanding doctor salaries? Will paralegals want to be paid like lawyers?

    You have a job title — that’s tight end. Go be a WR if you want WR money.

  38. samhackney says: Jun 20, 2014 9:51 PM

    He’s half the TE as Graham. What would Graham do without Brees?

  39. goodtogo28 says: Jun 20, 2014 11:24 PM

    last year jared cook got a contract for 5 years 35 mil with 19 mil guaranteed. if the saints are willing to offer that much guarantee money which is more than what a lot of teams top receivers are getting then he should take it. it would be a win win for both sides.

  40. bradytoanybody says: Jun 21, 2014 12:02 AM

    JT put up great #’s but he will be just another guy signed for top dollar that falls off the face of the Earth. Peyton made you son. You also had help from DT, ED, and WW taking a lot of heat off. Don’t get too big for your britches just yet.

  41. mikep363839 says: Jun 21, 2014 12:19 AM

    pdonnellon says:
    Jun 20, 2014 5:37 PM

    MikeP you are kidding right? Trying to get someone excited and argue with you? Not even the most blinded Skins fan could think that would be the list. The 1st 2 on your list are #2 wr’s forget about top 5 in the whole league.

    mikep363839 says:
    Jun 20, 2014 5:24 PM
    Top 5 WRs in Professional Football – DeSean Jackson Pierre Garcon, Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and AJ Green. In that order.

    damn the top 2 receivers on one team!…that quarterback must really suck

    I was pointing out what someone said above me so no need to argue I agree lol if I wanted to start a debate I would say I can’t wait till they have to change their racist name or I would say rg3 can’t run a pro offence

  42. namaths5thofwhiskey says: Jun 21, 2014 12:59 AM

    One year…. Lol Peyton can make the Jets TEs into ProBowlers

  43. outerspace24 says: Jun 21, 2014 9:38 AM

    And the Broncos are keeping tabs on who they will draft to replace you.

  44. somethingsmellsrotten says: Jun 21, 2014 10:48 AM

    43-8

  45. sasquatch77 says: Jun 21, 2014 12:50 PM

    Dude has had one — count ‘em — ONE productive year for the Broncs, and he’s already talking cash grab. Julius, baby, love you… but stay out of this discussion please.

    If player contracts could be put on hold while they sit on IR for years, we wouldn’t even be talking about the expiration of your rookie contract.

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