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Graham gets $13 million this year, $8 million next year

Graham Getty Images

Some of the real numbers have begun to bubble up regarding the Jimmy Graham contract.  And they look pretty good for a player who would have otherwise made $7 million under the franchise tag in 2014.

Per a source with knowledge of the contract, Graham received $12 million to sign, along with a $1 million base salary for 2014.  That’s $13 million in the first year (math!) and a cap number of $4 million.

The rest of the guaranteed money falls into 2015 salary, which is guaranteed for injury only, for now.  The $8 million Graham is due to make next year becomes fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2015 waiver period.  This means that, as a practical matter, the Saints won’t be cutting Graham before the injury guarantee becomes a full and complete guarantee.

Cutting Graham in the days after the next Super Bowl, more than a month before the start of the new league year, would result in $9 million in cap dollars flowing back to 2014.  Which presumably would force the Saints to engage in some contract restructurings on an emergency basis.

Even if the Saints were to cut Graham before the next $8 million becomes fully guaranteed, Graham would get $13 million for one season and then become a free agent well before free agency opens.

So Graham either gets $21 million over two years or $13 million over one and a crack at the open market.  Either way, that’s better than $7 million for 2014 — and it’s a lot better than the $4 million or so Graham has earned in four NFL seasons.

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60 Responses to “Graham gets $13 million this year, $8 million next year”
  1. greenbaydean says: Jul 15, 2014 11:35 AM

    And then after two years Graham will be crying again that he’s under payed….

  2. jwcarlson says: Jul 15, 2014 11:35 AM

    Is there a clause that gives the Saints money back when he basically doesn’t even board the plane for their playoff game?

  3. i thumbs down your comment says: Jul 15, 2014 11:37 AM

    Vernon should now realize he is being paid plenty and return to his job.

  4. calhounlambeau says: Jul 15, 2014 11:39 AM

    A player signs another bogus contract and will complain at the end of year two. These players get what they deserve.

  5. brokebackbrees says: Jul 15, 2014 11:42 AM

    I saw his actual contract posted online. There is a stipulation in it that he must donate 5% of his money to the teams new bounty program.

  6. bitw44 says: Jul 15, 2014 11:42 AM

    January 2016: “I feel that i have outperformed my current contract.”

  7. steelerben says: Jul 15, 2014 11:43 AM

    Well, I can now sleep soundly at night knowing that Jimmy Graham is finally being paid. All those restless nights spent worrying about how he would manage to get by on only four million dollars over four years were worth it, though.

  8. robf2010 says: Jul 15, 2014 11:44 AM

    He honored his initial rookie contract without once complaining about it. He didn’t say a word about the current negotiations until today AFTER he signed. Both sides used all of the tools at their disposal. That was just business. Now, time to play football. Lookout, Falcons. September 7 is coming.

  9. deadeye says: Jul 15, 2014 11:44 AM

    Jimmy is no longer frustrated!

  10. joetoronto says: Jul 15, 2014 11:45 AM

    It’s been almost 10 minutes since we’ve had a Jimmy Graham story.

    What’s going on?

  11. xxsweepthelegxx says: Jul 15, 2014 11:45 AM

    Gronk and Jimmy are phenomenal, that is no debate. One is not “way better than the other, not even a debate.”. That’s foolish talk.

    Numbers don’t tell the whole story but they aid in the conversation.

    Jimmy vs Gronk:
    GP: 62 vs 50
    Rec: 301 vs 226
    Targets: 471 vs 329
    Yds: 3863 vs 3255
    Avg: 12.8 vs 14.4
    TD: 41 vs 42
    Fum: 3 vs 2

    Gronk is statistically better in almost every category, I don’t know how anyone would claim Jimmy is way better, let alone better.

    Factor in GP, big bump for Jimmy, you have to be present to make a difference.

    Jimmy also gets waaaay more targets via Nola’s pass heavy offense.

    My last point is that Jimmy is called upon to run block a fraction of what Gronk does. That may be a reason for Gronks injuries/wearing down, who knows. But Gronk is a REAL TE, and imo, the best in the business today

  12. dickshotdogs says: Jul 15, 2014 11:51 AM

    It’s “underpaid.”

  13. thepftpoet says: Jul 15, 2014 11:51 AM

    Give the Minnesota Vikings our deserved 2009 Lombardi Trophy.

    The Bounty Gate Saints will be forever cursed.

    Skol Vikings.

  14. raiderrob21 says: Jul 15, 2014 11:52 AM

    What does Vernon Davis do now?

  15. johnnyjagfan says: Jul 15, 2014 11:53 AM

    Couldn’t be happier for Jimmy Graham. If anyone ever deserved this kind of money for playing a game, it’s him. His life was no game and he’s always smiling, always happy on the field. Wanted to see him leave the Saints, for sure, but the work he & Brees have put in to make him the superstar that he has become makes him staying a good story, too.

  16. i thumbs down your comment says: Jul 15, 2014 11:56 AM

    Alex Smith beat the Bounty Gate Saints.

  17. lightcleric says: Jul 15, 2014 11:57 AM

    As a Saints fan I’m glad we found a way to get Jimmy paid and not destroy our cap situation at the same time. Teams fight to get every dollar they can get, so I don’t have any problem with a player doing the same thing. Both sides seemed to understand it was just business. And I don’t see Jimmy complaining in a few years about the contract. He handled himself quite well through all this imo.

  18. crubenst says: Jul 15, 2014 11:59 AM

    How does this affect the franchise tag number for the next TE that gets it?

  19. pearlms says: Jul 15, 2014 12:00 PM

    So, can he still fly his plane?

  20. mankato98 says: Jul 15, 2014 12:05 PM

    That’s not a bad haul for a Receiving Associate in the Football Department.

  21. uglydingo says: Jul 15, 2014 12:07 PM

    It confirms that the top NFL Tight Ends are underpaid and they have been for many years. New Orleans only negotiated a higher amount to avoid the risk of Jimmy winning his appeal.
    Q) Why do the top TEs always seem to incur the prospect of the franchise tag and then negotiate a better deal?
    A) Because it is cheaper than facing the free market.

  22. osiris33 says: Jul 15, 2014 12:09 PM

    He would have gotten more if there was actual visual evidence of him catching a pass against the Seahawks.

  23. doubleogator says: Jul 15, 2014 12:10 PM

    Does anyone still think the “bounty gate” stuff is still funny?

  24. mattryansnoodlearm says: Jul 15, 2014 12:11 PM

    IN LOOMIS WE TRUST!

  25. 6thsense10 says: Jul 15, 2014 12:17 PM

    Over the past 4 seasons Graham has played on a rookie contract that paid about $4 million over 4 years despite producing at an all Pro level and generally considered either the best or second best tight end in the league. He watched as New England tore up rookie contracts for Gronk and Hernandez before they ended and gave each big deals that were more in line with their production. Yet he didn’t say a peep. Never threatened to hold out. Now he played out his contract and is negotiating a new contract and we have people on here calling him greedy for trying to get as much as he can. You fans with that mindset are the absolute worse. The man does everything the right way. Doesn’t hold out. Honors his below market rookie deal to the end and because he will not sign his new deal immediately with the team and uses every legal negotiation tactics at his disposal all of a sudden he’s greedy?

  26. fireeyes111 says: Jul 15, 2014 12:27 PM

    So his cap hit in year 1 is $4M, in year 2 it’s $11M, and in years 3 and 4 it’s something like $12.5M.

    The Saints are going to be really, truly terrible in 2016-2017, but I doubt anyone will care if they win another Super Bowl between now and then.

  27. pantherfan40 says: Jul 15, 2014 12:27 PM

    im sorry, but where do they get the money to do this?

  28. nclrbrt says: Jul 15, 2014 12:29 PM

    @thepftpoet–Had the Vikings scored more points than New Orleans, they (might) already have their 2009 Lombardi Trophy. However, as has been their wont, the Vikes choked on the big one. Some things never change.

  29. saintmike6453 says: Jul 15, 2014 12:31 PM

    thepftpoet says:
    Jul 15, 2014 11:51 AM
    Give the Minnesota Vikings our deserved 2009 Lombardi Trophy.

    The Bounty Gate Saints will be forever cursed.

    Skol Vikings.

     4 51 
    Report comment
    ———————————————————————————– Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  30. hebertcj says: Jul 15, 2014 12:32 PM

    Lol yea bounty made AP lose all those fumbles and Farve make bad decisions.

  31. fireeyes111 says: Jul 15, 2014 12:36 PM

    To answer the question of where they get the money: Graham’s cap hit in 2014 is only 4M. His cap hit in 2015 is 11M.

    The Saints can fit the 4M in, and they can probably squeeze the 11M in with some restructuring elsewhere. There’s basically no way they can fit the 12.5M in for 2016 and 2017, but it won’t matter since Brees will probably have retired by then anyway.

  32. op25ttfd says: Jul 15, 2014 12:58 PM

    Breed will get an extension next off season and that will help restructure the cap space.

  33. ariani1985 says: Jul 15, 2014 1:08 PM

    Ginger gate!

  34. ariani1985 says: Jul 15, 2014 1:09 PM

    Ginger gate!!!

  35. mdd913 says: Jul 15, 2014 1:12 PM

    What Saints haters really don’t want to hear right now is this clears up about $4 million on the Saints cap this year. So we can go out and sign another good WR, DL or pass rushing LB when the first cuts come in. Loaded for bear this year baby.

  36. mrtullymars says: Jul 15, 2014 1:13 PM

    Man, I need Mickey Loomis to do my taxes.

    The way he works the salary cap is amazing.

  37. weepingjebus says: Jul 15, 2014 1:14 PM

    Anyone have a sofa he can sleep on? I’m worried he might starve to death at any moment.

  38. flannlv says: Jul 15, 2014 1:24 PM

    Saints just created an additional $3mm to their 2014 cap as they already had JG on the books for $7mm this year. The Saints will be able to absorb the $8mm in 2015 and as the cap continues to increase the Saints will be in a good situation going forward as they will restructure Brees after this year and reduce his 2015 number. PayLoo has this under control. Worry about your own teams as they obviously don’t understand how the cap works.

  39. garyridgway says: Jul 15, 2014 1:55 PM

    Graham gets $13 million this year, $8 million next year…

    And 1 catch for 8 yards against my Seahawks

    Go Hawks

  40. letmesetyoustraight says: Jul 15, 2014 1:56 PM

    Do you know if the contract had a clause that would prohibit the Saints from using the franchise tag a second time?

  41. surfinbird1 says: Jul 15, 2014 1:57 PM

    Special clause in there that he doesn’t have to play in any games that have Talib covering him.

  42. micknangold says: Jul 15, 2014 2:18 PM

    Jackpot

  43. micknangold says: Jul 15, 2014 2:26 PM

    “And 1 catch for 8 yards against my Seahawks”

    Paul Allen? Is that you?

  44. ghost26 says: Jul 15, 2014 2:40 PM

    ‘So Graham either gets $21 million over two years or $13 million over one and a crack at the open market. Either way, that’s better than $7 million for 2014 — and it’s a lot better than the $4 million or so Graham has earned in four NFL seasons.’

    Not bad at all. Graham seems like a good kid so good for him.

  45. sb44champs says: Jul 15, 2014 2:56 PM

    @ xxsweepthelegxx:
    Graham is way better at the all-too-important stat of staying HEALTHY !!! That has to count for something lol

  46. sb44champs says: Jul 15, 2014 2:58 PM

    Hawks defense cheats so its understandable that Jimmy struggled against Pass Interference on every play…

  47. gtodriver says: Jul 15, 2014 2:59 PM

    So Graham put the NFL and the Saints through all this for a measly $500,000 per year?

    Now for you or I, $500,000 is a lot of money.

    The Saints had a multiyear deal on the table for $9.5 mil average per year.

    He just signed a 4 year, $40 mil deal.

    Where are all those folks that were so sure he was worth $12 mil per season (WR tag)?

    Obviously Jimmy knows he wasn’t worth that – or he wouldn’t have settled for $10 mil.

  48. gofor2with3pointlead says: Jul 15, 2014 3:11 PM

    That’s a lotta cheddar. I’m just wondering, where the “team concept” goes when it comes to salaries? Take the salary cap $133.000.000 divide it by 53 you get $2.509.433.96 So at $13.000.000 Jimmy gets the salary of 5.2 players. What does ownership say when a guy making the league minimum comes asking for a raise and they’re up against the salary cap? Do they play the players against each other?

  49. harrisonhits2 says: Jul 15, 2014 3:14 PM

    sb44champs says:

    @ xxsweepthelegxx:
    Graham is way better at the all-too-important stat of staying HEALTHY !!! That has to count for something lol
    ________________

    And when somebody goes low and hits Graham’s knee from the side he’ll be knocked out just like Gronk was. No player in the league could have taken that dirty hit and not had their knee blown out.

  50. madddogg365 says: Jul 15, 2014 3:21 PM

    xxsweepthelegxx-Those Boston Baked Beans must have you high!!! But like you said you have to be in the game to play. When he plays a full season again (which doesn’t look that likely again) then we will see. But the best stas are in Grahams favor. thepftpoet-The Saints are cursed. Cursed w/winning seasons now. Super Bowl wins: Saints-1 Vikings 0 for 5 or 6? brokebackbrees-That one season must really sting. lol

  51. flexx91 says: Jul 15, 2014 3:24 PM

    doubleogator says:
    Jul 15, 2014 12:10 PM
    Does anyone still think the “bounty gate” stuff is still funny?
    ___________________________________

    Only those whose team has yet to win a championship (i.e. Vikings, Falcons).

  52. garyridgway says: Jul 15, 2014 3:56 PM

    sb44champs says:
    Jul 15, 2014 2:58 PM
    Hawks defense cheats so its understandable that Jimmy struggled against Pass Interference on every play…

    ……………………………..

    Thats pretty funny coming from a bountygate fan.

    Glass houses

  53. sb44champs says: Jul 15, 2014 3:59 PM

    @ garyridgway:
    Truth must really hurt huh? lol

  54. mdd913 says: Jul 15, 2014 4:00 PM

    ^ If all the players the Saints injured during the supposed “bounty” years lived in glass houses, well, let’s just say the glass house industry would have a total customer count of zero.

  55. garyridgway says: Jul 15, 2014 4:17 PM

    sb44champs says:
    Jul 15, 2014 3:59 PM
    @ garyridgway:
    Truth must really hurt huh? lol

    ……………………..

    The truth is we won the Super Bowl. The truth is it feels great. Keep “lol”ing and we’ll keep knocking the Saints out of the playoffs like your last 2 times. What a dummy

  56. ilovefoolsball says: Jul 15, 2014 6:56 PM

    People who still make bounty jokes are about as relevant as my uncle who still makes jokes about Nixon.

  57. larryjames836 says: Jul 15, 2014 8:25 PM

    Everybody talking about the New Orleans Saints they can’t help it because they has the best GM, Coaches, Players, we just doing what we do try and get better. And the Saints are getting good at it this why everybody are HATERS of the Saints we just a NFL team from Louisiana we call the boot. Its our time to shine it doesn’t matter who in Line all I know is when the Saints hit the field they come to play see you guys in regular season Saints coming lace up.

  58. sb44champs says: Jul 16, 2014 8:11 AM

    garyridgway says:
    Jul 15, 2014 4:17 PM
    sb44champs says:
    Jul 15, 2014 3:59 PM
    @ garyridgway:
    Truth must really hurt huh? lol
    ……………………..
    The truth is we won the Super Bowl. The truth is it feels great. Keep “lol”ing and we’ll keep knocking the Saints out of the playoffs like your last 2 times. What a dummy
    =====================
    The real truth is the Saints did the same thing, won the Super Bowl a few years back since you apparently forgot. Saints also have been WAY MORE CONSISTENT over the last 8 years then the one year wonder Hawks so nighty night. Have fun when the Saints secure the number 1 seed and the Hawks will FINALLY have to play us in OUR DOME where the Seahags will most certainly LOSE !!!!

  59. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jul 16, 2014 8:22 AM

    Curious why no one has reported on details in years 3 & 4, my guess is its structured like $16 million in year 3, that the Saints will never pay.

    So it should really be reported as a 2 yr deal for 21 million. Only thing that matters is the guaranteed money, and even that 8 million in year there are conditions attached to it.

    Only in the NFL, contracts are guaranteed that really arent guaranteed

  60. jacktumlinson says: Jul 16, 2014 12:10 PM

    actually Jimmy will see all the money. His first year pay is 1 million, second year is 8 million, third year is 9 million and forth year is 10 million. with the cap going up it is very workable. And besides, unless it is a huge hit, it is not, or your play has decreased considerably, the Saints have shown that they will pay the whole contract to players. So Jimmy will be assured that he will see all 40 million and be sorta young enough to get one more big payday. So the Saints win and Jimmy wins by signing the 4 year and not a 6 year.

    Saints Killed Our Legacy.

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