Would another team make a run at Graham?

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After the Saints applied the non-exclusive franchise tender to tight end* Jimmy Graham, he received no interest from a team that could have signed Graham to an offer sheet, ultimately giving the Saints two first-round draft picks if the Saints opted not to match the offer.

After the 2014 draft, when the two first-round picks would have come from the 2015 and 2016 drafts, Graham again received no interest.

Now that an arbitrator has found that Graham is a tight end for franchise-tag purposes, taking $5.3 million from Graham’s pocket for 2014, Graham could be willing to listen — if a team is willing to make a run at him.

While some teams have pondered the possibility in the past of trying to sign Graham, there’s no evidence that anyone plans to actually do it.  Based on the language of the labor deal, which seems to suggest at Article 10, Section 15(a) that another team can sign a contract with “a Club” as late as the Tuesday after the 10th Sunday of the regular season, another team apparently could pursue Graham after the July 15 deadline for signing a long-term deal with the Saints.

Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report claimed earlier today that a “good half dozen teams” are plotting runs at Graham.  Every team can do it, with the exception of the Bills, which traded their 2015 first-round pick to the Browns.  We’ve heard of none that actually will, or that even might try to land a guy who will have missed the entire offseason program preceding his first year with a new team.

If anyone actually does it, a franchise with a need at the position that expects to pick low in the first round next year (e.g., the Packers) and/or an NFC South team whose Hall of Fame tight end has retired (i.e., the Falcons) would make sense.  Still, if anyone is planning to give it a shot, the cards are being pressed tightly against the vest on this one.

Soon, that could change, especially if/when Graham says or does anything that suggests he’d consider signing an offer sheet elsewhere.

79 responses to “Would another team make a run at Graham?

  1. graham is gonna be pissed this year!! he knows and the saints know he deserved to be paid liek a wr..lets see their offense without him!! he is gonna stick it to them in the near future becasue the saints could have showed good faith,but they decided to screw him..he wont forget it either!! he may very well dog it this year just to show them two can play that game!!!

  2. Why would Graham sign with another team when he can’t get market value because of the two first rounders attached to him?

    I think Graham’s bet is to sign the tender but change his Twitter account to that of wide receiver. Then he’ll be considered a wide out under the tender next season and can be a free agent.

  3. could see the chargers going after him and give up 2 late first round picks since they are a playoff caliber team and the picks are low anyways!!they are afterall the franchise that took chances on a college basketball only playing player to play TE in gates…tony gonzalez played basketball too,but he alos played college football!

  4. Man, the Bills should really have gone after him instead of Sammy Watkins.

    Or should I say:

    “The Bills Should Have Gone after Jimmy Graham, Unless They Shouldn’t Have”

  5. Yes, the Packers make so much sense since Ted Thompson doesn’t ever treat his draft picks as sacred. Are you kidding me? The guy wouldn’t even trade a 4th rounder for Randy Moss

  6. The Saints are going to be kicking themselves for choosing the technical money over the true production. He’ll stick around this year, but will leave next year. If we were him, we would not line up in the slot or out wide this season. Give them what they pay for. If they wanted a hybrid TE, they should have paid accordingly. Lining up 67% of the time as receiver is 67% Wide receiver, however you slice it. He can’t block. Label him what you want. Like we said, there needs to be multi-positional designations.

  7. Falcons could afford to offer him a deal in the 5 yr 40-50 mil range. The move would deal a double blow to the Saints by them losing a cornerstone and having to face him 2x a year.

  8. Any team to give up 2 first rounders for a TE are off their rockers. Graham is a great TE, don’t get me wrong. He could also be a system player. He’s definitely got talent, but who’s to say he has the same effect on another team with a lesser QB than Drew Brees? It isn’t good business to give up that kind of compensation for a TE. I don’t care who it is.

  9. Of course teams would come after him. Falcons and Bucs right here in the NFCS.

    You think Russell Wilson wouldn’t wanna throw to Graham over Miller? Maybe the Jets want there version of Gronk. Ozzie would drop Pitta like a hot potato for Graham.

    Teams would find a way.

  10. They’d have to be idiots to consider giving away two first round pics for Graham, but if someone did the Saints should jump on it.

  11. Chargers don’t make much sense they have Gates and soon to be top 5 TE Ladarius Green. Green is pretty much just like Graham only faster. The dude is 6′ 6″ 240+ and still runs 4.5 40. He showed flashes of what he could do last year and will build on it.

    As for Jimmy, you win some and you lose some, I’m sure the appeal will be process will be starting soon. Either way you’re going to be making an exponentially greater amount of money compared to your rookie contact, enough to buy all the airplanes you want buddy. Look at where you came from and look where you’re at and take it all in. If a contract near the $10M/year mark isn’t enough what is?

  12. Packers aren’t trading their picks. They run a money-ball like system and value that rookies bring.

    What’s kind of funny is that years back trading 2 draft picks might not have been that bad. The top end of the draft meant paying a ridiculous amount of money for someone that might not pan out.

  13. You people act like it was the Saints when it was the NFL and the players unions argument. Don’t forget The Saints can match any offer that can come his way.

    thank you
    If that was food for thought, we just starved.
    2 first round draft picks for a tight end?
    Sign him for a dollar (league minimum) and I let him walk for the draft picks.

  15. Hahaha the steelers won’t. They have 100 grand in cap space because all their money is going to troy “washed up” polamalu, Ben “I hold the ball for 10 seconds and then blame my line for when I get sacked” roethlisberger, and antonio “I wouldn’t even be in the nfl if it wasn’t for all these new rules” brown.

  16. I’m sure lots of teams would love him, they just don’t love that he’ll demand top a 10 WR salary with a big signing bonus and a boatload of guaranteed money

  17. The only way the Packers trade two 1st round picks for Graham is if Ted Thompson acknowledges that he’s more miss than hit with 1st round picks lately and decides to go for the sure thing with Graham.

    If one considers Graham a top 10 draft pick in next years draft its not all that far fetched to see a team giving up 2 late 1st round picks for him. Buffalo and Atlanta both gave up more than 2 1st round picks for Sammy Watkins and Julio Jones.

    If a team thinks Graham is the missing piece someone could make a run at him.

  18. There is no way in hell Ted Thompson parts with even a single first rounder to get a current starter, let along two. Not that Graham isn’t great, because he is, but draft and develop is about getting good _cheap_ talent to replace the talent you can’t keep, and this sort of move could damage a draft and develop franchise for years.

  19. No one is going to give 2 first rounders, 10m a yr and the knowledge that he got shut down in big games.

    Factor in the lingering doubt of just how much of his success is due to Brees as his QB and Payton being his coach and the chances are next to zero. It would be a potential death knell for any GM who made this move.

  20. The Browns should go after him, since they dont know how to draft and they waste their 1st round picks anyway. Get a proven commodity, and give Hoyer or Johnny someone to throw to

  21. I can gurantee that any team with the cap space to pay graham 10m won’t be a contender. Having balls thrown to you by Drew Brees in that offense hasn’t exactly hurt him. As a saints fan its hard not to notice he disappeared against tough defenses. He can’t block for crap so subbing in Ben Watson is a huge tell for teams. Let’s seem him be the number 1 on a team without an elite QB and an offensive genius as a coach. Bottom line, you want the big money? Learn to block.

  22. only team that would consider trading two firsts would the seahawks who would be giving up two 30-32’s most likely with graham added as a weapon for wilson while also weakening a NFC rival talk about making a run at a dynasty only problem is the money he would cost they cant afford 8-9 mil for a TE but if he took a paycut at 6ish could work.

  23. I don’t think Graham’s willingness to listen has any effect on the fact that no other teams are interested. Speaking from a Seahawks’ perspective, it’s an advantage to have him on the opposing team.

    I’m Jimmy!


  24. Another team would, and while business is business, you don’t hose the guys who performed for you. This will be a fatal error for the Saints. Now they pay Brees to throw to an empty patch of grass.

  25. Graham would be at most, 1st and conditional 3rd round pick the following year. Maybe 1st and 4th. TEs are important in the NFC South, but let’s not be ridiculous here.

  26. Nobody’s giving up 2 first rounders. Once he’s a free agent then teams will go after him, but not this year.

  27. why does anyone think that the Saints are not going to pay Graham around 9 to 10 million or more per year? They are and are going to get a long term deal done. Graham was waiting to see if the arbitration would go his way first, even though it was a long shot, because that would have been serious leverage when negotiating long term deal.

  28. Don’t you know Ted Thompson? 1. He loves his draft picks. 2. He loathes free agency. 3. He only pays top dollar for his QB, no way he pays Graham more than Nelson, Cobb, and Boykin will make this yr. Nice try Troll.

  29. Graham has speed and hands, but Payton’s offense and Brees’ accuracy make Graham look good. put him in an average offense and some of the magic is lost. Seattle made the Saints O ordinary in two games last year and Graham disappeared in both.

    he’s not comparable to the top receivers either. Not worth two #1’s.

  30. After he signs the one year tender, don’t be surprised if “suddenly” Graham can’t catch the ball as well anymore so that way he can get out of New Orleans.

    Things like this tend to linger. Ask Desean Jackson about how he played at Philly before they gave him his last contract.

  31. This seems like the kind of move Bellichick would make. Imagine how pleased Brady would be with a big, new toy to stick beside Gronk.

    Graham and Gronk on the same field at the same time? Scary ish right there…

  32. Hahaha the steelers won’t. They have 100 grand in cap space because all their money is going to troy “washed up” polamalu, Ben “I hold the ball for 10 seconds and then blame my line for when I get sacked” roethlisberger, and antonio “I wouldn’t even be in the nfl if it wasn’t for all these new rules” brown.

  33. Saints SB!


    If you were in the NFC West you wouldn’t have made the playoffs.

  34. Graham with the Packers would be a nightmare for NFC North defenses that already can’t hang with Rodgers & Co. But I don’t see Ted Thompson paying that kind of price.

  35. Go right ahead idiots and think a team is going to give up two 1st round picks for a TE and have to pay him $10 million a year. He wants to remain a Saint and will be signed to a long-term deal by July 15. Also, for the idiot who thinks the Saints’ offense will suffer without him…. They have been a top five offense every single year in the Sean Payton era with AND without him.

  36. Offer would need to be 11 million or north for the saints to even consider the trade. Saints have already offered north of 9 and I would assume the would negotiate with him to about 10ish. Jimmy could want Vincent Jackson contract which is 11 but I don’t think the saints budge above 10.5.

  37. New England is a team that would give up two first rounders for Graham. So I hope that the Saints come to their senses and pay the man his desired wish forget about him being Just a TE and consider that he is a Offensive Game-Impacting Weapon and pay the man…He’s just as important as Brees…Indeed…

  38. Grahams not going anywhere. This whole ordeal was a way for his agent and the NFLPA to try and push to get more money for him. They did what was in Grahams best interest and wanted to be tagged at a wide out rate. That doesn’t mean should get top wide out money. He is the best in the league when it comes to mismatches for LB’s and safeties, but how do you pay wide receiver money when there are corner backs who can shut him down? You can’t give a guy Calvin Johnson money when he can’t match up to corners like Calvin can. He will be the highest paid tight end in the league who is a below average blocker, but a nightmare when covered by someone other than a corner. I want to see him stay here in the NO, but not at the expense of possibly losing guys like Junior Galette and Cameron Jordan which is a very likely scenario if the Saints give him top receiver money.

  39. To sign the tender and then tank on purpose would show that he in no way cares about what impact that has on the entire team, so if he does that he can expect teams to stay away just for that reason. He can stay in New Orleans, make 10 million a year for the next 6 years and get a really nice signing bonus and stay in an offense that is perfectly suited for his talents, or risk being tagged again next year for 8 million. He knows he has it good, they just wanted to see if they could get leverage for contract negotiations.

  40. Idiots!, he isnt going anywhere.

    The Saints will pay him his worth, just as they have done for all their cornerstone players. This is just part of the negotiation process.

    But I guess we need something to talk about.

  41. This is a joke lol falcons fans think jimmy will sign with them lmfao jimmy will sign a long term deal right before the deadline and his camp is working on it right now . He will be the highest paid tight end . 6 year 63 million dollar contract with 25 to 35 million in guarantees

  42. Nobody is giving up two 1rst rnd picks, least of all the Pats. But, a team may not have to. For example, Cassell signed his franchise tender with the Pats and was then traded to KC with Vrabel for a 2nd rnd pick. Maybe the Saints don’t want to pay Graham. Maybe Graham is upset about the way the Saints handled it and is threatening to hold out. A lot more moving parts here than meets the eye.

  43. There is ABSOLUTELY NO CHANCE the Packers will go after Graham. NO WAY !!!!
    Ted will not give up 2 – 1st round picks. I doubt he’d give up 1 1st rd. We have 2 rookies that show huge potential in camp. Ted might look at rosters that have an overload of TE’s if he wants to get one from the outside but I would doubt that too. TE is an appreciable position in GB’s offense, but not a featured position. Not like the Saints.

  44. Please call the GM of your favorite team and push them to give up those picks, as a Saints fan I’d take them. Jimmy is good but Payton/Bree’s created the monster and won a Super Bowl before he arrived. Ask Carl Nicks how his money grab went. Who Dat!!

  45. I find it funny that people are saying pay the man but then turn around and say he isn’t worth the price for your team! Which is it ?

  46. While the Packers are a good example off a team that will pick low next year, we have already filled our need at the position in the 2014 draft and free agency.

  47. rohlo,The Saints made him a great offer.They offered him 10 million a year.That is WR money.Graham is great,I love him.But he has been known to “disappear” in big games. He CAN go down as one of the best TE EVER.But he would be an average WR.As a TE,you don’t have the same caliber of player lining up against you as a WR does.So basically, he is an amazing TE,but would only be an average WR. So I think the Saints offer of 10 million was more than fair.He should have taken it.And then proved his worth.If he showed them he could be as good a WR as he is a TE, and doesn’t shy away during the big plays,is willing to catch the ball and take the hit.He could have said “I will take the 10 million, if you agree to renegotiate after the season. After I show I am willing to take the hit,to make the play.Show y’all I will not “disappear” during the big games.I will improve my weaknesses. Then we renegotiate”.But demanding a big payday,when you just got manhandled against Seattle,and several other teams,is not the best course of action. I think Graham is being greedy.He’s looking like he’s gonna be another Randy Moss. I am a die hard Saints fan and Graham is one of my favorite players.But,the Saints would be fine without him.Don’t want him to go,nor do I want someone with that attitude on our team.I trust Payton/Loomis,they know what they are doing. And to say,if he goes elsewhere and we play him,he will kill us.So not true,cause the Saints know his strong/weak areas and will use that to their advantage. So hope we keep him,but if not that is obviously the best choice for the team.Not to mention, he should WANT to play for the team that will win the next 3/5 Superbowls.WHO DAT!

  48. Jimmy Graham is the best TE in the NFL right now, but I don’t think he’s worth two first round picks. Unless it’s the Browns, since they just waste their draft picks. I would be better at drafting that the Browns. Seriously. I’m talking about you, Johnny Vegas and Justin Gilbert.

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