As the ruling on the Jimmy Graham grievance approaches, more information is trickling out regarding last week’s arbitration hearing on the question of whether Graham is a tight end or a receiver for purposes of the franchise tag.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the cases on behalf of the NFL and NFLPA were bolstered by expert testimony from former NFL G.M. Bill Polian (pictured) and former NFL head coach Butch Davis, respectively. Polian was an expert witness as to the position that Graham is a tight end for tag purposes; Davis testified on behalf of the position that Graham should be regarded as a receiver.
Other witnesses included, from the team’s perspective, G.M. Mickey Loomis and coach Sean Payton. Testifying on Graham’s behalf were Graham and former Saints (current Steelers) receiver Lance Moore.
At issue is $5.3 million on a one-year deal. The league and the team believe Graham should be tendered at $7 million for 2014. The union and the player believe that Graham should be tendered at $12.3 million.