Jimmy Graham not thinking about his contract


Jimmy Graham’s contract situation no longer is under radar.  But the Saints tight end isn’t worried about entering the final year of his rookie deal without long-term (or even short-term) security.

“I don’t really think about that,” Graham said over the weekend regarding his contract, via comments distributed by the team.  “I have a lot of pride in the way I play.  I have a lot of pride on every down in the game.  It doesn’t really matter what’s ahead of me.  I focus on today and the next day and trying to make special plays to help this team win.”

It’s the right attitude.  Until a guy dislocates a hip.

Still, Graham’s not thinking about that.

“I’m a humble kid from very humble beginnings and I feel blessed to be in the situation that I am in,” Graham said.  “All I’m going to do is go out here and play football.  I know that’s what I’m best at and I know the rest will just take care of itself.”

It needs to take care of itself sooner rather than later.  With every rep of every practice and every snap of every game, Graham risks suffering the kind of injury that will lead the kid with humble beginnings to a humble ending, too.

G.M. Mickey Loomis recently said that management has discussed giving Graham a long-term deal, and the media is beginning to notice that Graham deserves more than he has received.  The problem for Graham is that, by not complaining or politicking or threatening to hold out or actually holding out, Graham avoids being a squeaky wheel.  Which makes it harder for him to get paid.  Which in turn underscores his value to the team.

For any NFL team, it’s easy to take care of a great player who is causing a problem.  The challenge comes from finding a way to properly and fairly compensate someone who isn’t particularly looking for more money.

Coach Sean Payton seems to realize that something needs to be done.

“I think all that stuff will get taken care of itself,” Payton recently told reporters.  “A lot has been written because he’s coming into [a contract year], but we’ll handle that.”

In light of the rash of injuries the NFL has seen over the weekend, the sooner they take care of Graham, the better.

29 responses to “Jimmy Graham not thinking about his contract

  1. And when Cam Newton was asked about his contrat?

    He wasn’t thinking about his contract and that he was only thinking about “one three letter word” (W-I-N) .

    The media (not PFT) trashed him.

    Because that’s totally fair.

  2. How many guys dislocate hips during training camp? I understand there is a much higher risk for ACL/MCL tears but what you are implying is that every player should holdout in order to get long term deals before their current deal expires, so they can get a huge contract, before getting hurt and not playing out that new huge contract. That doesn’t make a bit of sense.

  3. The best TE in the game, hands down. Sorry Gronk lovers, sorry old man Gonzalez lovers and anyone else who thinks they have a decent TE. With Brees throwing to him and all the other weapons the Saints’ O has, Graham will have an all pro, monster year. Glad we’re playing the Jets at MetLife Stadium this year. The team will be familiar with the surroundings when we return to win the Lombardigras trophy next February!

  4. Doesn’t the act of saying “I don’t really think about that” actually require you to think “about that”? What does he think about? The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man?

  5. He needs to watch out for himself….in this situation….a holdout here is not a case of a player A signing a deal and 18 months later wants a new one because Player B signed a better deal…..this young man has played his butt off and has never cashed that big check. As the Tooz said, When I say its a game,you say its a business,and when I say its a business,you say its a game”……

  6. It really does suck for players in a contract year that they could end up like Jeremy Maclin. I think he’ll get paid regardless though, he’s such a beast. IMO he’s the best TE in the league right not. Tony Gonzalez is an all-time great but I think Jimmy at 26 has the edge on Tony at 37.

    People talk about Gronk’s blocking but Jimmy can crush people when he’s asked to as well. I remember on Sproles’ big TD run in the playoffs against SF he trucked Tarell Brown so hard that he rolled over.

  7. There seems to be quite a few season-ending injuries happening this year (what’s up with that?) and you never know when it’s your turn.

    But, I don’t see how holding out for more money, or engaging in a contentious contract battle alleviates the possibility of injury especially when your team has an elite offense and a real shot at a diamond ring.

    Apparently, Jimmy is aware of the money he can make over the span of his career and would rather focus on contributing to what could be a Super Bowl run this season.

    Sounds like Graham has his head on straight.

  8. A breath of fresh air! too bad more NFL players don’t realize how blessed they are to be paid huge amounts of money to play a game they played for fun as kids…love his attitude.

  9. ”With every rep of every practice and every snap of every game, Graham risks suffering the kind of injury that will lead the kid with humble beginnings to a humble ending, too.”

    That is exactly why the current dynamic of new pros having to survive 4 years in the NFL meatgrinder before they can be paid with a new contract that accurately reflects their talent is so outrageous. That should be cut in half to two years.

  10. @ skippynj & lightcleric & florationtime: Yes, I’m a Pat’s homer, but taking my rose colored glasses off, the stats still point to Gronk being the better TE. Time will tell in the end, I’d call them 1A and 1B. And being on the field IS something that Graham has performed better to date, so I wont discredit that.

    Some quick 2012 stats: Graham had 85 catches on 135 targets (62.9%) for 982/yds and 9TDs.

    Gronk had 55 catches on 79 targets (69.6%) for 790/yds and 11 TDs.

    Brady attempted 637 pass attempts
    Pat’s attempted 523 rush attemps

    Brees attempted 670 pass attempts
    Saints attempted 370 rush attempts

    My humble Conclusion: Both players have high octane, pass heavy offenses. Difference is Gronk is asked to run block A LOT more…not a little. Not saying Graham CANT block, he just isn’t asked to as much….and it’s not even close.

    Gronk didn’t even play 1/4 of the season either…Graham may have been hobbled in a couple too, but he was present nonetheless. So you can argue his importance ON the field compared to Gronk, but Gronks numbers are better with less.

  11. My Saints have a habit of not signing the core players before the contract is up. Unfortunately, the Hernandez early new contract came back to bite the Patriots. If he’s reasonable, Saints should take care of him before the season starts.

  12. Graham will get paid by the Saints. He’s just a humble guy who works hard for the team. I get your “squeaky wheel” reference but its just not in his nature. Even when him and Gronk were going back and forth for the record he never said one thing and just kept grinding. Also his stats were down last year bc of a hand injury he had to have surgery on this offseason.Not saying he’s better but I’d much rather have Graham over Gronk, any day, any time and any game. And this has nothing to do with me being a Saints fan.

  13. Fellow TE Dennis Pitta wasn’t worried about his contract either when he shattered his hip a year before free agency .

  14. Now that AH is in prison, Graham moves up to the second best TE in the NFL. If the Saints don’t sign him, maybe the Patriots can pick him up.

  15. Like they said! Their going to take care of it! Let them figure it out! And do what’s best ! Jimmy is the beat TE I’m the league right now though! So he should get paid a lot! All we need to worry about is bringing that Lombardi to new Orleans! #teamhoneygraham Whodat!!

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