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Clock is ticking for Graham, Saints

Clock hands close to midnight Getty Images

If the Saints like to do business on a deadline basis, then they love their current situation.  By 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, the Saints must file and the NFL must approve a long-term deal with tight end Jimmy Graham. If they don’t, Graham will be able to sign only a one-year contract in 2014.

Amid Twitter sightings of both Graham and coach Sean Payton in New Orleans, the fact remains that, regardless of where the principals are located, the time has come to put signatures on a multi-year contract.

Technically, failure to agree to a long-term deal by the close of business on Tuesday would prevent the Saints from signing Graham to a multi-year contract until after the conclusion of the 2014 regular season.  As a practical matter, it would push everything back by a year, with the Saints having to decide whether to apply the tag for a second straight year to Graham.  If they do, then next July 15 becomes the deadline for signing him to a long-term deal.

It’s unclear whether they’ll actually get something done.  The Saints repeatedly have expressed optimism that an agreement will be reached.  But there’s no indication that the Saints have moved above the $9.5 million per year offer that has been on the table since before an arbitrator ruled Graham is a tight end for franchise tag purposes.

If the Saints are going to move or if Graham is going to blink and take the current offer, it all needs to happen pretty quickly.  Which means that you should be hitting your “F5″ button throughout the day to see whether a deal has been struck.

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36 Responses to “Clock is ticking for Graham, Saints”
  1. logicalvoicesays says: Jul 14, 2014 8:56 AM

    Best TE in Football – Last name Reed First name Jordan
    #HTTR

  2. jjb0811 says: Jul 14, 2014 9:00 AM

    They should have moved him to Buffalo this offseason.

  3. csbanter says: Jul 14, 2014 9:01 AM

    Graham needs a pen obviously, he better get on it. 9.5 mil is plenty for a tight end .

  4. virginiaviking says: Jul 14, 2014 9:25 AM

    Jordan Reed ??? Really ?? He’s not even the best tight end in his division. And Alfred Morris is better than Adrian Peterson and shady McCoy to right?? I love supporting my favorite team and players but I don’t use my fandom as a substitute for my football knowledge.

  5. Aaron Rodgers Has Tiny Hands says: Jul 14, 2014 9:27 AM

    The Saints are doing a great job of creating animosity toward their star player. They won the franchise tag argument, now they should give a little to get the contract done. Otherwise, Graham is going to leave the first chance he finally gets.

  6. areyouseriousrofl says: Jul 14, 2014 9:28 AM

    If a deal somehow DOESN’T get completed, it will be 100% Jimmy Graham’s fault. $9.5 million is likely too much for a TE, and he’s only as good as the Saints make him. He would be $4 mil per year anywhere else.

  7. jimmyt says: Jul 14, 2014 9:31 AM

    $9.5 million per year and he hasn’t signed, wow. Just wow.

  8. socalcharger says: Jul 14, 2014 9:39 AM

    This is Graham’s last chance at a big contract. He shouldn’t sign a long term deal until he’s happy with the amount. 11-12M per year, production-wise, seems fair. It will help other TEs stuck with a tag, just like Calvin’s contract helps WRs.

  9. officialgame says: Jul 14, 2014 9:44 AM

    If Graham doesn’t sign they will just put a bounty on him.

  10. jimmyt says: Jul 14, 2014 10:01 AM

    virginiaviking says:

    “I don’t use my fandom as a substitute for my football knowledge.”

    You also are not a twelve year old like the person you were responding to.

  11. steelcitywhitty says: Jul 14, 2014 10:16 AM

    Graham should be paid for his production.

    13th in receptions
    15th in yards
    1st in TDs

    He should be paid top receiver money. Maybe not Megatron and Dez money but certainly not capped at TE money.

  12. Andee says: Jul 14, 2014 10:21 AM

    Buffalo really missed out!!!

  13. jchuber says: Jul 14, 2014 10:21 AM

    Obviously, some of you folks never understood high school math.

    If he lined up as a wide receiver 2/3 of the time, and the franchise tag rate is 14 million, then he should get 9.3 million for that role.

    Also, if he lined up as a tight end 1/3 of the time, and the franchise rate is 7 million, he should get 2.3 million for that role.

    Add them together equals 11.6 million

    How opponents decide to defend him is beyond his control, and pure ” Aints el cheapo BS.”

  14. burtmurphy1 says: Jul 14, 2014 10:25 AM

    He’ll sign. No question.

    He really doesn’t have a choice. But why does the “best cap man in football” always have these problems with his star players?

  15. corky2141 says: Jul 14, 2014 10:37 AM

    If he were to get tagged again next year could he fight again that he is a WR depending on where he lines up more?

  16. steelcitywhitty says: Jul 14, 2014 10:39 AM

    anyone know what the 15th highest paid WR makes?

  17. 6thsense10 says: Jul 14, 2014 10:43 AM

    If Graham isn’t happy with the contract amount why are people on here saying he should sign it? And then if he signs it and holds out because he’s not happy with the contract the first thing I’ll hear is “you shouldn’t have sign the contract if you were not happy with it”. You people are impossible.

  18. micknangold says: Jul 14, 2014 10:46 AM

    Yeah, hit the F5 button all day. Alternatively, hit yourself with a mallet all day.

  19. micknangold says: Jul 14, 2014 10:47 AM

    “Jordan Reed ??? Really ?? He’s not even the best tight end in his division. And Alfred Morris is better than Adrian Peterson and shady McCoy to right?? I love supporting my favorite team and players but I don’t use my fandom as a substitute for my football knowledge.”

    Somebody has never heard of trolling…that’s almost impossible in 2014.

  20. steelcitywhitty says: Jul 14, 2014 10:51 AM

    @jchuber – found a site that agreed with your numbers

    Spotrac’s (NEW) Prediction: 5 years, $58,461,191
    • Average Annual Salary: $11,692,238
    • Guaranteed Money: $28,926,000

  21. jacktumlinson says: Jul 14, 2014 10:56 AM

    He isn’t worth 12 million a year. He is worth 10 million for sure. If that half a million per year is what holds up the signing then that is just plain dumb on both parties. Jimmy is the best pass catching tight end in the game the last three years and he should be paid like the best tight end and that is 7.2 million for the tag. Pro rate that over a 6 year deal and that is around 42+ million. They offered 9.5 million, pro rated at 54+. He won’t get that money from a contender.

  22. winningisabrees says: Jul 14, 2014 11:07 AM

    Peyton Manning of the TE position, regular season HOFer, post season, he disappears.

  23. granadafan says: Jul 14, 2014 11:14 AM

    Pay for production, not position. A certain QB will be demanding lots of explanations from the cheap management why they didn’t pay his favorite target.

  24. steelcitywhitty says: Jul 14, 2014 11:15 AM

    jack search
    spotrac dot com projecting-te-jimmy-graham-as-a-wr-464

  25. jacktumlinson says: Jul 14, 2014 11:41 AM

    yep. about the same as what I figured in my head but without all the fancy words and terms. While I don’t agree with the statement that he was outperforming elite receivers, he did have an outstanding year. But I hope we sign him to a long term soon. Like today at 4 pm.

  26. micknangold says: Jul 14, 2014 11:50 AM

    “Peyton Manning of the TE position, regular season HOFer, post season, he disappears.”

    Except that time Peyton Manning won the Super Bowl. I guess you’re only “good” if you win more than one?

  27. nowillrepeat says: Jul 14, 2014 12:11 PM

    jack search
    spotrac dot com projecting-te-jimmy-graham-as-a-wr-464
    ——————————–
    Cool story bro

  28. whalesarenotmammals says: Jul 14, 2014 12:44 PM

    As Ke$ha would say “tik tok”

  29. bcajun says: Jul 14, 2014 1:00 PM

    10.5 million sounds fitting

  30. madddogg365 says: Jul 14, 2014 1:01 PM

    As long s I got paid MORE than New Englands TE (who gets $9 million a year & has been injury prone the last 2 seasons) I’d be fine. $10 million the max, but $9.5 would be just as good. If you want more then than the guranteed $9.5 then hit them w/high priced incentive clauses. 12+ TDs an extra million or so. More than 800 receptions etc., etc., etc.

  31. bcajun says: Jul 14, 2014 1:03 PM

    Jordan Reed? Who??

  32. lilnatedogg213 says: Jul 14, 2014 1:15 PM

    Pay the Man..he’s worth it,,if half of you guys watched the saints play you’d know he’s worth every penny he’s asking

  33. athwartships says: Jul 14, 2014 1:38 PM

    First of all….if you think Graham and/or Peyton are conducting any part of those negotiations, you’re nuts….team lawyers and agents.

    Second, so what….if Graham holds out, he plays one more year. If the Saints are holding out in a squeeze play, he plays one more year.

    He is only going to play one more year…..in New Orleans.

  34. cursedvikings1998 says: Jul 14, 2014 1:45 PM

    Players who hold out against all odds almost never end up with what they want.

    Sign the contract Jimmy! And learn how to block!!!!

  35. brokebackbrees says: Jul 14, 2014 1:46 PM

    Get out of that dump Jimmy!! Classless organization. Not relevant since bounty program.

  36. isphet71 says: Jul 14, 2014 3:08 PM

    It’s not F5. It’s Alt-F5! Try it.

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