Saints tight end Jimmy Graham has until 4:00 p.m. ET to file an appeal of the arbitration decision concluding that he’s a tight end, not a receiver, for franchise-tag purposes. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, it’s currently unlikely that an appeal will be filed.
According to the source, no steps have been taken to direct the NFLPA to file the notice of appeal on Graham’s behalf. With less than an hour to go until the ability to appeal the decision is waived, it strongly suggests that there will be no appeal.
Which strongly suggests that a long-term deal is coming. With a long-term deal, Graham wouldn’t need to roll the dice on the $5.3 million in 2014 salary that would come from a successful appeal.
If no appeal is filed, it means that Graham will either sign a long-term deal by Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. ET or be eligible for a one-year, $7 million contract in 2014. With the Saints offering a deal worth $9.5 million per year and presumably at least $15 million if not much more in fully-guaranteed money at signing, it would be a surprise if Graham doesn’t take the rather large bird in the hard. Especially if as of 4:00 p.m. ET he officially stops chasing the much larger bird in the bush.