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Arbitrator rules Jimmy Graham’s a tight end

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

Jimmy Graham is officially a tight end.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, arbitrator Stephen Burbank’s ruling is out, and Graham has been deemed to be a tight end for the purpose of his franchise tag.

The difference of $5.3 million in tags ($7 million for tight ends, $12.3 million for wide receivers) creates the urgency for an immediate appeal.

The Saints still have until July 15 to reach a long-term deal with Graham, and this ruling gives them a bit of leverage, or at least the high ground. They can come in with something greater than every other tight end in the league as an olive branch, and still be saving money.

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131 Responses to “Arbitrator rules Jimmy Graham’s a tight end”
  1. chad504boy says: Jul 2, 2014 12:17 PM

    This is my shock face

    :0

  2. mcfleezy12 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:17 PM

    bridges burned. He’s leaving as soon as he can

  3. ariani1985 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:18 PM

    Shocker!

  4. rr2000k says: Jul 2, 2014 12:18 PM

    Boom!

  5. faepernick says: Jul 2, 2014 12:20 PM

    Justice is served.

  6. saintsfan1111 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:20 PM

    +1 for the saints to sticking with their guns. They hold the cards now.

  7. blackandbluedivision says: Jul 2, 2014 12:21 PM

    Somewhere Michael Sam is excited by this news.

  8. clownsfan says: Jul 2, 2014 12:21 PM

    Shocking.

  9. benchokeshischikin says: Jul 2, 2014 12:21 PM

    and in other news, Barack Obama has just come to the realization he should be teaching constitutional law at a junior college.

  10. NFLisnotreality says: Jul 2, 2014 12:21 PM

    This makes Jimmy mad.

  11. youtubeingravenvids says: Jul 2, 2014 12:23 PM

    THANK YOU!!! Drafted a TE. Plays TE. Listed as a TE. Why did this take so long? It’s like a RB who goes out wide or catches 60+ passes a season wanting to be labeled as a WR. Thank you Mr.Arbitrator, you got this one right!!!

  12. thenewguy12 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:23 PM

    Vernon Davis has a sad.

  13. msc4realeagles says: Jul 2, 2014 12:23 PM

    You are what you record says you are. In other related news, I’m an only child, white male, 5’10.

  14. omegalh says: Jul 2, 2014 12:23 PM

    No receiver lines up inline so even if it was just 20% of the plays, he’s a tight end.

  15. qdog112 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:23 PM

    I sure would like to read the ruling to see the reasoning and exact language.

    I’ll admit, I thought it would go the other way. Not ashamed to say I was wrong.

  16. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 2, 2014 12:23 PM

    Lol as many stated above shocking news the NFL gets their way.

  17. r8drn8tn says: Jul 2, 2014 12:23 PM

    Funny, I would bet my 401K that the overwhelming majority of people on here demanding that Graham take short money are the same people running around screaming socialist on other sites.

    The irony of “free market capitalists” offended by people trying to negotiate a higher salary is lost on them.

    Weird.

  18. axx1 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:24 PM

    Someone tell jimmy that his numbers are inflated because he gets covered by linebackers and not corners

  19. campcouch says: Jul 2, 2014 12:25 PM

    I bet he gets a lot more blocking assignments this year…just to keep those touches in line.

  20. scrp2 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:25 PM

    The arbitrator in an attempt to get some cheap yuks, first said Graham is an offensive lineman.

  21. jay0134 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:25 PM

    I’ll be honest, its the Saints fault actually…He’s arguably a top 25 player in the NFL and top 5 “Receiver” and they wanna pay him peanuts compared to what someone with his accomplishments makes because of his position.

    If he walked as a free agent next year, he would get exactly what he wants and most important deserves.

  22. kerzondax says: Jul 2, 2014 12:26 PM

    Blows me away that so may Wingers here who laud Capitalism, get their cotton panties in a twist when someone exercises a business decision permitted, and encourage, by that very same capitalism. They will rail on “greed athletes” when it is absolutely NOTHING more than the Capitalism these Wingers love. This is a business, not some noble venture to save Mankind.

    Correct ruling, but nothing wrong with proceeding as he did.

  23. tecmobowl34 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:26 PM

    Funny how people on this website claim to love football but are never on the side of the players

  24. deadeye says: Jul 2, 2014 12:26 PM

    A poorly written CBA is the root cause of this absurdity. I don’t blame Graham one bit for trying to get all he can while he can.

  25. missingsock215 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:26 PM

    non-sense drama finally ending.

  26. shrike3000 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:26 PM

    It was worth a try, now he will sign a 6 year deal and be happy with what he gets.

  27. nyyjetsknicks says: Jul 2, 2014 12:27 PM

    If I’m him I’m out after this year. Sign as late as I can without losing money and leave as soon as I can.

  28. sladewillson says: Jul 2, 2014 12:27 PM

    Am I the only one who thinks he shouldn’t be the highest paid TE I mean a true TE has to be able to block run routes and have soft hands, with that being said you have guys like Heath Miller, and Jason Witten who would be better assets to any offense but someone like Grahm wants top dollar because he can split out wide…. How about we see this guy line up and play the TE position like a TE and see is he diserves top dollar

  29. canetic says: Jul 2, 2014 12:27 PM

    I just changed my twitter occupation to CEO of Microsoft. When do I get my money?

  30. kneelbeforesod says: Jul 2, 2014 12:28 PM

    Guess you’ll have to block now?

  31. nyyjetsknicks says: Jul 2, 2014 12:28 PM

    benchokeshischikin says:
    Jul 2, 2014 12:21 PM
    and in other news, Barack Obama has just come to the realization he should be teaching constitutional law at a junior college.

    __________________

    Your post says Obama but I’m pretty sure you meant the idiots with Rs next to their name on the SCOTUS.

  32. heyguru69 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:28 PM

    This is my shocked face wearing a Saints helmet:

    (
    —- — : O
    (

  33. sb44champs says: Jul 2, 2014 12:29 PM

    AWESOME!! Can’t have that much money tied up by a TE..

  34. buddysguys says: Jul 2, 2014 12:29 PM

    Jimmy holds grudges.

  35. meccaho says: Jul 2, 2014 12:30 PM

    Lol love the angry Jimmy picture.

  36. NFLisnotreality says: Jul 2, 2014 12:30 PM

    After being shut down in the playoffs against Seattle, Jimmy doesn’t deserve a dime more. Show that you’re a stud against the current best team in the league you get some coin and none of this would have ever gone down…

  37. ccjcsr says: Jul 2, 2014 12:30 PM

    Camp Holdout

  38. mm504 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:30 PM

    @mcfleezy12

    Burned bridges? Leaving as soon as he can? The soonest he’ll be able to leavei s 2 years, assuming he wants to play 2 years on a TE franchise tag. Or he can take a long term deal worth at least $10 mil per year. He isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

  39. skum01 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:32 PM

    Suggs smiles and goes back to work.

  40. texansdan says: Jul 2, 2014 12:33 PM

    Well at least he won’t have to update his twitter profile.

  41. heeeeelzfan says: Jul 2, 2014 12:34 PM

    Jimmy doesn’t like this. This makes Jimmy very angry. Jimmy’s getting mad. Jimmy’s leaving. Jimmy’s outta here.

  42. RegisHawk says: Jul 2, 2014 12:34 PM

    I’m Jimmy!

    LOL

  43. abninf says: Jul 2, 2014 12:35 PM

    kerzondax says:
    Jul 2, 2014 12:26 PM
    Blows me away that so may Wingers here who laud Capitalism
    ==================================

    Oh, that little thing called Capitalism that gave you your computer? And almost everything you own?

  44. thedownwardspiral says: Jul 2, 2014 12:36 PM

    Duh

  45. joelvis72 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:36 PM

    He is what we thought he was, and the arbitrator let the Saints off the hook!

  46. footballfan14 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:37 PM

    I think it is awful for anyone here to get pleasure out of bad news for a player. While I know he is a TE and this ruling is correct, he has every right to go for WR money. If he had won, then he would have made money. Glad to see the correct call was made but I will not make fun of him for losing this.

    Graham is a TE but he certainly could be a WR if the Saints wanted to change positions for him.

    While he is a TE, not just in the position he plays but his body type, he does have the skills of a WR. Too bad he isn’t 230 pounds and able to be a pure WR. He’s grown into a TE body and that’s his position.

    Good luck this year Jimmy! Don’t get mad at the Saints and ask for a trade. Their offense has made you a big name. Stick with Brees and continue to put up the numbers and be the highest paid TE in the NFL!

  47. spankymcwanky says: Jul 2, 2014 12:37 PM

    McFleezy12, why are bridges burned? The Saints were rumored to have offered him close to 10.5 million a year, making him the highest paid tight end in the league. He is ruled a tight end, and will get close to that much money a year. Why would Jimmy Graham be mad and why would he want to leave? Why would any one think that. Did you not see Graham’s comment that he wanted to retire when Drew Brees retired so that he wouldn’t have to deal with anyone other than Brees throwing him the ball? Why would he go anywhere else, especially away from Brees?

  48. baddegg says: Jul 2, 2014 12:38 PM

    He is a TE.

    Graham’s strength is that he is a freak at TE and uses folks playing that position.

    If he was deployed as a # 1 or # 2 WR and faced different assignments/coverages, then his production would be different.

    Why is this so difficult to understand?

    If a RB throws 2 surprise passes after getting a lateral and completes them both, it doesn’t make him the best QB in the league.

    This is nonsense.

  49. dapollock69 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:39 PM

    It would have been priceless to deliver the judgment in a Gene Wilder / Willy Wonka tone- “There is no money for you. You ARE a TE. Now good day SIR!”

  50. rr2000k says: Jul 2, 2014 12:39 PM

    Drew Brees wants an explanation.

  51. BigAlHeBDMan says: Jul 2, 2014 12:42 PM

    OK Jimmy, Time to sign the tag.

  52. sbchampsagain says: Jul 2, 2014 12:43 PM

    Eric Ebron will not be happy about this.

  53. uglydingo says: Jul 2, 2014 12:43 PM

    Terrible decision. He is not allowed to go to the market where he could earn significantly more. He has the TE franchise tag and he has been deprived the opportunity to increase his earnings by like $5.3M per season.
    The NFL old guard circled the wagons because it would have disrupted things and cost other owners more in the long term. Congratulations Roger – you win again – what a surprise.

  54. silvercrush33 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:43 PM

    Glad it ended up like this. I see his reason for fighting, obviously, but this would have set a precedent for the rest of the players to follow.

    Besides, they all make too much money anyways.

  55. jwcarlson says: Jul 2, 2014 12:44 PM

    Good for him, he probably didn’t want to go through the trouble of updating his social media profiles from TE to WR anyway.

  56. stealthjunk says: Jul 2, 2014 12:44 PM

    qdog112 says:
    Jul 2, 2014 12:23 PM
    I sure would like to read the ruling to see the reasoning and exact language. I’ll admit, I thought it would go the other way. Not ashamed to say I was wrong.

    ================

    The reasoning is that he was a TE in college, he was drafted as a TE, he is listed on the roster as a TE, he was selected to Pro Bowls as a TE, he would be a TE if he ends up in the Hall of Fame, and even he calls himself a TE (see Twitter and his personal website). He’s had several years now to dispute that he was a TE if he disagreed with that title, but conveniently the only time he or anyone in the world ever claimed he was a WR was when he realized the claim would make him more $$$ following the franchise tag a few months ago.

    Besides, it’s not like he’s the first TE ever to catch a boatload of passes — see, e.g., Tony Gonzalez, Shannon Sharpe, Jason Witten, Gronk, etc. — and none of them ever claimed to be a WR. You know why? Because they are tight ends, plain and simple.

  57. FinFan68 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:45 PM

    tecmobowl34 says:
    Jul 2, 2014 12:26 PM
    Funny how people on this website claim to love football but are never on the side of the players
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Backwards logic. Most people on this site love the game and many will watch it regardless of who is playing. The names on the uniforms will change but the teams remain (for the most part). There are players that I will go out of my way to watch but the game itself is what makes me a fan.

  58. salmen76 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:45 PM

    Awesome. I love it. Whiny Jimmy lost. Hoot der it is. Bottom line is that Jimmy will be a Saint for a long time to come. And not at wide receiver money either. With Brandin Cooks on board now defenses will have to pick their poison. They can’t double cover Jimmy and Brandin at the same time. If they try Kenny Stills and Colston will burn them in their single coverage. Saints are loaded with talent. Back to the Super Bowl this season boys. Geaux Saints!

  59. flexx91 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:45 PM

    Dummys this has more to do with the league not wanting to set a bad precedent and opening up a big can of worms that will eventually affect ALL teams and the entire league. Graham is happy to be a Saint and he’s not going anywhere.

  60. porchnightshow says: Jul 2, 2014 12:45 PM

    Because EVERY top TE that plays now does the same thing…So he is already compared to his peer group!

  61. packerbackernj says: Jul 2, 2014 12:47 PM

    Vernon davis’ one stock holder, Vernon davis, will not be happy by this.

  62. Aaron Rodgers Has Tiny Hands says: Jul 2, 2014 12:47 PM

    I can see Graham’s argument that he should be paid like a wide receiver because he lines up in the slot so often. He doesn’t line up out wide very often, though. Therefore, he should be paid like the top five slot receivers. I’m sure the five highest paid wide receivers are lining up outside most of the time.

  63. flexx91 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:47 PM

    Graham and his contract situation was used as the litmus test by his agent and the NFLPA.

  64. crubenst says: Jul 2, 2014 12:49 PM

    Vernon Davis’s fantex stock price just crashed.

  65. jm91rs says: Jul 2, 2014 12:49 PM

    The Saints seem to like burning these bridges as they tried to do the same thing with Brees. If I’m Graham I’m leaving at the first chance I get. If they tag him again next year it’ll be for more money, and he’ll still be elite enough to get WR money from somewhere after next year. I’d probably skip all off season stuff too. This is a team chemistry issue waiting to happen.

  66. guitarfreak21 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:51 PM

    If I were Graham I would not be a Saints fan right now… I would be thinkin I’m the new Gronkowski for Brady! (and Gronkowski is the new Hernandez cause he gets hurt too much)

  67. Aaron Rodgers Has Tiny Hands says: Jul 2, 2014 12:53 PM

    Five highest paid wide receivers:

    1. Calvin Johnson
    2. Larry Fitzgerald
    3. Mike Wallace
    4. Dwayne Bowe
    5. Vincent Jackson

    These are all guys who line up out wide most of the time and are usually covered by the other team’s top cornerback. That isn’t what Jimmy Graham does so it’s ridiculous to use them as the comparison. He’s in a class by himself and should be the highest paid tight end, but he isn’t the same as a wide receiver.

  68. chad504boy says: Jul 2, 2014 12:53 PM

    The Saints seem to like burning these bridges as they tried to do the same thing with Brees. If I’m Graham I’m leaving at the first chance I get. If they tag him again next year it’ll be for more money, and he’ll still be elite enough to get WR money from somewhere after next year. I’d probably skip all off season stuff too. This is a team chemistry issue waiting to happen.

    _____________________________________

    Its business. Jimmy had to use his leverage, saints will use their leverage. They aren’t far off on a deal, this will close the gaps. Saints want Jimmy long term. Jimmy wants to maximize his negotiating power. The Brees bridge was never burned.

  69. joefelicelli says: Jul 2, 2014 12:54 PM

    Any ruling other than calling him a tight end would have been a travesty. I don’t blame Graham for going for the money, but I do blame the NFL and NFLPA for putting such a crappy parameter in the CBA.

    Bottom line is that tight ends are eligible receivers on every play. They are able to go in motion, shift and line up anywhere that they are not covered by another eligible receiver on the line of scrimmage. If the Saints wanted to, he could line up 1 inch inside the sideline on every play, and he would still be a tight end. Formation, motion, and utilization are all just nuances of position.

  70. tecmobowl34 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:55 PM

    FinFan68 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:45 PM

    tecmobowl34 says:
    Jul 2, 2014 12:26 PM
    Funny how people on this website claim to love football but are never on the side of the players
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Backwards logic. Most people on this site love the game and many will watch it regardless of who is playing. The names on the uniforms will change but the teams remain (for the most part). There are players that I will go out of my way to watch but the game itself is what makes me a fan.

    —————————

    well, aren’t you quite the sanctimonious, pure football lover

  71. qdog112 says: Jul 2, 2014 12:56 PM

    Graham loss, but what about the appeal? Does anyone of the “free market”advocates think there won’t be an appeal?

    Silly Jimmy, he should know that redistribution of wealth flows only up stream.

  72. floreskins says: Jul 2, 2014 12:57 PM

    In other news, Roger Goodell announces Stephen Burbank is the new Executive VP of Finance

  73. wimpyburgers says: Jul 2, 2014 12:58 PM

    “Who’s Jimmy?”

  74. sfsaintsfan says: Jul 2, 2014 12:59 PM

    This all came down to an agent trying to get the most money for his player and the NFL/Saints trying to pay players at their actual position played.

    I don’t fault the agent or player for this or the Saints Management or the NFL. They all did their jobs.

    Now it is time to bury the hatchet, sign a contract by both sides that will make Jimmy the highest paid TE in NFL history and play some football.

    Anyone here who does not see the Saints making a very serious Super Bowl run is delusional. They are stacked on both sides of the ball and will go all the way barring injuries.

  75. Spymaster Belichick says: Jul 2, 2014 1:00 PM

    He shouldn’t line up out wide anymore.

  76. micknangold says: Jul 2, 2014 1:00 PM

    That’s probably because he’s a tight end.

  77. tved12 says: Jul 2, 2014 1:02 PM

    Unreal. First the NFL wins on the Terrell Suggs, saying he’s a LB and not a DE because of where he lined up. They even write the language into the CBA so they can continue to screw pass rushers on the franchise tag.

    Then Graham follows the letter of the rule, which says “where the player lined up most the previous season,” and somehow the NFL gets this ruling? Say what you want about Jimmy Graham’s label as a TE. He didn’t write the CBA, he didn’t sign the CBA, the owners and the union did. He’s just following the letter of the rule.

    Can’t wait for the appeal. I’m not sure how a judge rules against the exact language of a contract, but it makes me suspect about the judge. How much did the NFL pay him?

  78. ericsarealboy says: Jul 2, 2014 1:04 PM

    Good, because he is.

  79. realfootballfan says: Jul 2, 2014 1:06 PM

    So predictable. A big waste of time.

  80. bestbadteamaround says: Jul 2, 2014 1:06 PM

    If I was Graham, I’d refuse the franchise tender, as well as any offer they gave me under $10mil. 31 other teams would love to pay him that much.

  81. Stiller43 says: Jul 2, 2014 1:07 PM

    Damn straight! Positions change in responsibilities, get over it

  82. flexx91 says: Jul 2, 2014 1:08 PM

    Who says the Brees’ bridge was burned? Not true. He said all along he was going to sign prior to camp. Stop making stupid crap up because your team sucks.

  83. bobby2478 says: Jul 2, 2014 1:09 PM

    All this does is pave the way for NFL teams to start to tag more wideouts they draft as TE’s, knowing that they can still play a WR position but because they are officially tagged as a TE the team can pay them less as a result.

    There is a direct incentive now to play 3 or even 4 “TE” sets with only 1 wideout, because in all honesty the distinction TE vs WR doesn’t mean anything to the team, it’s all about how they are used in the offense.

    Why wouldn’t teams start doing this immediately? They don’t have to pay a TE anywhere near as much as a WR, even if that TE is truly a wideout.

  84. gutsysleeper says: Jul 2, 2014 1:09 PM

    Poor guy, now he’s only gonna make 10 million a year. Life is so unfair!!!!

  85. Spymaster Belichick says: Jul 2, 2014 1:09 PM

    You can put whatever label you want on him. The fact is he lined up in a receiver position 67% of the time. 67%! That, in essence, makes him 33% of a true tight end. The league needs to create a hybrid designation for TE/WR type players. If he’s stuck with the TE franchise number, she should only line up at tight end this season. Give them what they want.

  86. ragnarthemagnificent says: Jul 2, 2014 1:10 PM

    “Ah, Jimmy doesn’t like misunderstandings…theres the guy who took bread out of Jimmy’s mouth…don’t touch Jimmy! Let go of Jimmy!”

  87. ghost26 says: Jul 2, 2014 1:11 PM

    Regardless Jimmy Graham is still going to get paid in a huge way but Shannon Sharpe actually made a great point–if a RB lines up as a WR does that make him a WR? No. He’s still a RB no matter where he lines up or how many catches he has & Graham is still a TE no matter where he lines up or how many catches he has.

  88. flexx91 says: Jul 2, 2014 1:11 PM

    He will be offered a deal that will average in the neighborhood of $10 million per season. He will be happy and the Saints as well.

  89. danind says: Jul 2, 2014 1:13 PM

    I am shocked that a TE was determined to be…a TE. Crazy. I find it very humorous how people are so “upset” about this. This new fad of everyone online wanting to be angry about everything is getting really old.

    whats next, should Peyton Manning file a grievance to get three paychecks…QB, OC and HC???

    I know this is crazy, but lets use common sense. a TE should be paid as a TE.

  90. danind says: Jul 2, 2014 1:15 PM

    You can put whatever label you want on him. The fact is he lined up in a receiver position 67% of the time. 67%! That, in essence, makes him 33% of a true tight end. The league needs to create a hybrid designation for TE/WR type players. If he’s stuck with the TE franchise number, she should only line up at tight end this season. Give them what they want.

    Seriously, just stop it. So are they going to make hybrid categories for everything else too? how about a category for pocket passers vs running QBs…north/south running back or slash RB…

    just stop. he is a TE.

  91. watermelon1 says: Jul 2, 2014 1:17 PM

    Or, since graham is the one who holds the coveted talent… He can hold out. We’ll see how fast the saints backtrack once he starts missing games and they don’t have that red-zone threat touchdown machine!

  92. guitarfreak21 says: Jul 2, 2014 1:18 PM

    He’s a TE! …that isn’t worth crap if he isn’t a receiving rockstar… Pay the man what you play him for. If it quacks like a freaking duck, SURPRISE! it’s a DUCK, as much as some are oddly tickled by calling him an ox, it does not make him so. There is no inherent value in labels.

  93. purplecrusher says: Jul 2, 2014 1:19 PM

    Why not just list your entire team as long snappers than?

  94. bassplucker says: Jul 2, 2014 1:19 PM

    Of course he is. Next.

  95. briang123 says: Jul 2, 2014 1:19 PM

    The Arbitrator knows where his bread is buttered. He would have said Graham was a punter if the NFL argued it.

  96. realnflmaster says: Jul 2, 2014 1:20 PM

    I wouldn’t even pay him, I would let him walk because he’s a headache, a cry baby, is afraid to go over the middle and cannot block.

    Why have that on your team?

  97. thefiesty1 says: Jul 2, 2014 1:22 PM

    All this for nothing. Now watch the Saints sign him to a new contract at WR money.

  98. Ed Bandell says: Jul 2, 2014 1:23 PM

    It seems to me that the classifications should stay as is until the next Collective Bargaining Agreement meeting is held.

    At that time the players have to band together and decide if they want to change the WR and TE designations to one all encompassing term; “Receiver.”

    To me, you split the difference between the high end of what a WR would get and the lower figure a TE would get. Meet in the middle and the NFL will probably go for that. What probably won’t happen is the WR’s agreeing to a cut in pay. But hey, you have to give something to get something.

    Jimmy Graham can take a hard line and say, “Fine, I just won’t play in TE formation anymore and will only line up at WR. I will refuse to play. You can fine me or whatever until I am a free agent again, or you can trade me and hopefully get some draft picks for me.”

    And I also find the point about 3rd down running backs wanting to be listed as a receiver as well to be legitimate. Over the years there have been a lot of specialized 3rd down backs, Ronnie Harmon for the San Diego Chargers comes to mind. He was a 3rd down running back who very rarely carried the ball, but caught a ton of passes in his career. In fact, Harmon has almost as many receptions (582) as he did carries (615) in his career and while he rushed for only 2,774 yards, he caught caught passes for 6,076 yards.

    Guys like Mike Alstot should have said that he wasn’t a fullback, but a running back.

    Where does it end?

  99. flexx91 says: Jul 2, 2014 1:25 PM

    I still can’t believe that there are some folks on here that dumb – thinking this issue is a “personal” one between Graham and the Saints. It’s call business people!!!

  100. gammynomnom says: Jul 2, 2014 1:26 PM

    Man, how do they expect a dude to live off 7 million dollars?

  101. flaccoishermanmunster says: Jul 2, 2014 1:28 PM

    Does this label mean he can gain weight, get slower, run block ….and most importantly, will only talk as much trash as the top 5 trash talking TE’s?

  102. teambolt5000 says: Jul 2, 2014 1:30 PM

    It is interesting that Pro Football Reference listed Graham as both a TE and WR, but only for 2013. Prior to that he was only listed as a TE. Makes me wonder why PFR would do this as I thought they only dealt in facts.

  103. factman1000 says: Jul 2, 2014 1:31 PM

    He will be franchised the next two years now. This ruling cost him MILLIONS!

  104. Getoffmylawn! says: Jul 2, 2014 1:32 PM

    If you want WR money, play the WR position. Remember when RB’s got paid really well? Now RB’s want TE money! LOL

  105. mm504 says: Jul 2, 2014 1:54 PM

    People are taking the “lined up 67% in the slot, or split out wide, and turning that into “lined up 67% as a Wide Reciever.” If he lined up 67% split out wide, then he’d have an arguement for being a WR. Tight Ends have been lining up in the slot for over 20 years, it’s part of the position.

    If you take the snaps he lined up in-line (292) and added that to his snaps in the slot (396), divded that by his overall snaps (879), he lined up either in-line or the slot 78% of his snaps. Sounds like a TE to me…

  106. pillowporkers says: Jul 2, 2014 1:57 PM

    I think the NFLPA did the right thing. The fact is, Jimmy will get a long term deal with either the Saints or someone else, with my money still on the Saints. When that happens, it’ll help all of the other TE’s out. The tag will increase significantly for TE’s in the coming years as it is becoming a more important position in the pass game (which it should), and Jimmy’s long term deal will help that avg salary for TE’s skyrocket, in turn increasing the tag value of a TE. Otherwise, letting Jimmy get tagged at WR would still keep the tag for other TE’s artificially low in the future, which would be unfair.

  107. xinellum says: Jul 2, 2014 2:10 PM

    Shame when it has all become about money. Both sides are guilty for not finding common ground. No loyalty on either side. Money, money, money. No allegiance. And the comments Brees made basically saying he can do it without him. Funny when drafting the probowl team he was talked up by Brees. It is basically no honor among thieves. Other than the actual game, there is something about the NFL that is distasteful. Kind of when the Mafia don distributes turkey’s to the poor. You like the product but hate the process.

  108. vikesandravens78 says: Jul 2, 2014 2:18 PM

    Poor guy, now he can only afford a small or medium sized yacht. I think I faintly hear the sound of the world’s smallest violin playing for him.

  109. r8dernation says: Jul 2, 2014 2:19 PM

    I admit i have not followed this story very closely. But who in their right mind thought that Jimmy was anything other than a TE? If it was his agent, he needs a new agent that can read, and understand football.

  110. seacab1972 says: Jul 2, 2014 2:24 PM

    Jimmy are you mad bro?

  111. mriddle4 says: Jul 2, 2014 2:59 PM

    Just because someone wants more money doesn’t make them a “winger”. It just means they want more money. Bill and Hillary charge between $200k and #$300k to talk for a couple hours, I wouldn’t call them free market capitalists.

  112. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jul 2, 2014 4:21 PM

    I don’t think Graham cares what you call him. He just wants the money. Since both TEs and WRs catch passes and block, put them both at the same level of pay.

  113. rodgray39 says: Jul 2, 2014 4:31 PM

    Some team is gonna pay this kid!!! Well!! Saints better win the SB this year b/c he’s as good as gone come March!!!

  114. flexx91 says: Jul 2, 2014 4:47 PM

    Gone how? He can be franchised again next year if no long-term deal is reached.

  115. gammynomnom says: Jul 2, 2014 4:51 PM

    Does he go to the pro bowl as a TE?

    Then he is a TE

  116. granadafan says: Jul 2, 2014 6:04 PM

    By definition Tight Ends ARE hybrid players and they’re paid somewhere between a receiver and a lineman.

  117. trollaikman8 says: Jul 2, 2014 6:13 PM

    The arbitrator continued to say “and he still can’t block worth a dime”.

  118. jimthebuilder27 says: Jul 2, 2014 6:37 PM

    He got what he deserved for his arrogance.

  119. nyneal says: Jul 2, 2014 6:40 PM

    I am so glad Graham lost this case. It was a joke to begin with and would have opened up a whole can of worms had he won.

  120. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 2, 2014 6:56 PM

    He is a TE… who do you think covers him…. freakin LBs

  121. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 2, 2014 6:58 PM

    also should be diff between #1 and #2 WRs… and shut down CBs and guys like Dick Sherman who have much more limited roles

    and between rush only LB/DEs and others that play position but do more

    and between a game manager QB and a full QB

    and…

  122. skolvikes says: Jul 2, 2014 8:11 PM

    Are people honestly this stupid?

    Good for Jimmy Graham for using every avenue possible to try to get the most money for his services, the same way every single poster on here would do if they are in their right mind with their employer.

    This isn’t about the actual $ amount. It’s about maximizing earning potential. Who is dumb enough not to do that?

  123. nupe3 says: Jul 2, 2014 9:12 PM

    I know this much if this dude does an Emit Smith he will get WR Money. Just hold out, and let them try to pass touch down to the next best tight end they have on the team. Watch them go 0-4 and they will give you that pay check or worse case scenerio trade you. They already lost most of their short yardage guys in the off season as it is. I would sit out and pay that penalty, Brees is nice but come on Grahm is a legit threat and they need him to make that offense click.

  124. somatg3 says: Jul 2, 2014 9:22 PM

    Sean Payton testifying against Graham and saying they use him as a WR isn’t going to instill a lot of loyalty on Grahams behalf. Nice move by Payton after his players stuck behind him in his troubled times. What a loser. I hope Graham signs the one year tender and then bolts after this year.

  125. josh1973sun says: Jul 2, 2014 10:25 PM

    All you people saying he played the WR position more than he played the TE position are flat out wrong.

    Let me explain this for you because apparently thinking for yourself is impossible. Here is what the media didn’t tell you because they loved the drama driving page clicks.

    TEs have been lining up in the slot for as long as TEs have been in the NFL.

    Last year, Graham lined up on the line 33% of the time. He lined up in the slot 45% of the time and out wide 22% of the time.

    So, he lined up as a TE 78% of the time. He is, was and always will be a TE.

  126. mark4steelers says: Jul 2, 2014 10:51 PM

    Arbitrator got it right. Players can’t just simply decide one day that they deserve the money of a different position. If he wants WR money, then play that position. Otherwise, shut your face!!

  127. simonator917 says: Jul 2, 2014 11:18 PM

    Couldn’t they just split the difference?

  128. ausernamethatisavailable says: Jul 3, 2014 12:17 AM

    Duh. He is a TE! This whole process was laughable. Part of a TEs job is to go out for passes. To argue that he is not a TE when he lines up outside sounds ignorant, from a football perspective.

  129. monroesaintsfan says: Jul 3, 2014 12:26 AM

    Unless he’s willing to get on board, get what you can in a trade. This comes from an avid Saint’s fan and also a trade union member since 1976. You can’t try to bargain above your usefulness just because you think it’s there. And he’s not worth top WR money…..Jimmy, C. Johnson doesn’t disappear in games where he’s matched up against that teams best defenders.

  130. cards32 says: Jul 3, 2014 4:53 AM

    I dunno why this is such a hot topic this is the franchise tag we are talking about. Graham is a tight end so under the franchise tag he gets the average of the top 5 tight end salaries. That is the franchise tag. When he gets his big payday the franchise tag goes up for the next guy and so on and so forth until the tight end franchise tag is higher for everyone. That is why the receiver tag IS so high. Graham is hurting all the other tight ends in the league by trying to be tagged as a wide receiver. Oh well.

  131. randyrambo says: Jul 6, 2014 3:37 PM

    Even Teddy KGB wants the Saints to pay this man his money.

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