Graham remains silent in wake of ruling

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Although other players have taken notice of the Jimmy Graham ruling and adjusted their Twitter profiles accordingly, the Saints tight end* has said nothing to indicate any emotion resulting from the loss of $5.3 million in 2014 salary via the drawing of an arbitrary four-yard line by arbitrator Stephen Burbank.

Action means more than any words Graham can use; if he hopes to have a chance to finalize an appeal of the ruling before July 15, the deadline for signing a long-term deal, Graham needs to file his appeal immediately and request under Article 15, Section 8(d) of the CBA an expedited review.

If he’s going to seek a quick appeal, Graham probably should have filed it already.

Chances are he won’t seek to accelerate the timetable; the CBA requires a showing of “good cause” to speed up the appeal process.  By waiting until April 28 to file his grievance for something that happened in February, it easily can be argued that Graham waited too long to pull the cord on the litigation lawnmower.

It becomes less easy to predict Graham’s next move as it relates to the possibility of working out a long-term contract before July 15.  If the Saints take money off the table after winning the first round of a two-round cash fight, Graham may decide to show up as late as possible (the Thursday or Friday of the first regular season game), sign the one-year tender, and take the $7 million.  Which is more than he has earned during his first four NFL seasons.

Not signing a long-term deal also gives Graham a chance to win back the $5.3 million, if the three-person panel decides that Burbank was wrong.  It also gives Graham a chance to attract another suitor, which remains possible but unlikely.

Bottom line?  Even though the Saints “won” on Wednesday, they may eventually lose in one or more ways — from losing the appeal to losing the player’s trust to literally losing the player to another team.

62 responses to “Graham remains silent in wake of ruling

  1. He did not lose 5.3 M. He was not eligible to receive it. the 4 yard silliness was not needed. A players role in the offense is not solely determined by his position on the field at the start of a play. It’s determined by what the hes capable of doing. He’s tall and looking for a mismatch, so he lines up wide. He’s capable of blocking linemen so his position was designated TE. receiver types do not have the capability to run block linemen, so they line up wide and look for passes.

  2. Before people start posting about how the Saints are stingy and aren’t paying the man because they are penny pinchers, please be aware that before all this nonsense started the Saints offered to make Graham the HIGHEST paid TE in history even with the Saints salary cap constraints.

    I guarantee you if this was an uncapped year, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    I personally think JG, like most pros, lets his agent get in his head and inflate his ego.

  3. “Gee Dad, whatcha doin”?

    “Son, I’m fixin’ to pull the cord on the ol’ litigation lawnmower. Now stand back while I file this motion………”

  4. Graham knows he plays at a high level because of where he fits in the Saints Offensive System…

    If he signs elsewhere, he will not have the same success…

    When a General Manager expends draft picks on a rookie, he can always claim selecting is not an exact science…

    But when Mgt and Coaches go out and get a guy that’s produced in the league, and are unable to set the table the same way and he’s guy less success or worse…

    People lose their jobs…

  5. Can you imagine if this had happened with Hernandez? There would have been so many 4th of July “accidents” between the arbitrator, coach, GM, and Bill Polian. At least Butch Davis would have been safe.

  6. You keep trying to play up this angle abut other players turning on Peyton in typical media fashion, but I’ve seen no evidence of it. I don’t care about a couple of nameless sources. It’s not like the team took any money out of their pockets. Vice verca, actually.

  7. If that’s the case, then Bye Bye Jimmy… Saints don’t need to spend $14 Mill on a player that consistently gets beat by Corners in the biggest games of the year. Even $10 Mill is pushing it..

  8. I don’t know how the union allows something as criminally stupid as the franchise tag to still exist. The NFLPA could take a que about what it means to be a strong union from the MLBPA

  9. I wonder if other teams are thinking(or somehow know) it’s a foregone conclusion that he’s bolting in the next year or two, and that’s why nobody has made a move.

    I understand that “you don’t give up two firsts unless it’s a QB” line of thinking, but weirder(read: more desperate) things have happened plenty of times in the NFL.

  10. The saints have already offered him a huge contract that would make him the highest paid TE in the league. What does he want Calvin Johnson money? Graham is good but he is no Calvin Johnson.

  11. He should go to the Super Bowl favorite Vikings! GM , Speilman, has developed his drafting abilities & really assembled a Deep & talented Roster. It may take 1-2 seasons but if Speilman can acquire top level talent or move up again in the draft, it could really make sense to forgo (2) 1st rounders for his kind of talent!!! Teddy + Rudolph + jimmy = two TE sets! That would leave Patterson, Jennings and Wright, wide open!!! What Randy Moss? What did you say? ” SUPBOWL HOMEBOY”

  12. A small group of people don’t like the term “tight end.” The league should be forced to change the name.


  13. I despise the Saints but why would Graham be angry with the team? They both presented their cases and an arbitrator made a decision. Had it been the Titans, Bills or Cardinals the same result would’ve occurred. Seems petty and silly to take that tact. If he’s that upset at the system then he can take his ball and start another profession.

  14. He’s a tight end. Let’s all move on. He even said so himself in his Twitter handle.

  15. This is getting more stupid by the minute. So they adjusted their twitter profiles AFTER the Graham ruling even though they already knew that WRs are paid more than TEs?

  16. This team is garbage without him. He has been underpaid his ENTIRE career. He shouldn’t show up until the day before the first game, take 3 weeks to get in shape them ball out the season until he’s a free agent. I doubt they’d tag him again. He also needs a new agent.

  17. As a fan of another NFC contender, I’m glad to see this distracting the Saints for the entire offseason.

  18. As a Saints fan, I gotta love Jimmy Graham. But it’s time for him to sign his deal, be happy he’s the highest paid TE in the league, and remember to show up in the playoffs.

  19. People keep saying he wont be much on another team. I don’t get that. Still athletic, still catches the ball when it hits his hands. Not to mention his size and strength. As long as somebody can get the ball to him, he’ll be just fine. God knows what Norv Turner could do with him.

    This is just Saints fans HOPING he wont amount to much when he leaves.

  20. Jimmy has deserved this contract on and off the field. Jimmy has handled this personal controversy very well.

  21. The 4 yards isn’t arbitrary. The media is going with that story-line and people are buying it without reading the ruling.

    The 4 yards comes from the fact, based on witness testimony and the NFL rule book, that players that are arms length apart from the OT, meaning if both players extend their arms out and their finger tips touch, that player on the outside is allowed to in-line block and players are taught techniques on how to block from this position (Polian’s testimony).

    If you put an NFL tight end and NFL OT on side each other with their arms extended and finger tips touching, that distance, on average, will be right at 4 yards.

  22. Holdout Jimmy and ask to be traded. Get out of that crap hole, as soon as possible. If you can’t twist their arm to trade you, walk after the season, they won’t tag you again.

  23. He’s a tight end… Sad it took an arbitration hearing for this to be figured out….what a waist of time

  24. NFL TEs have a very valid argument that THEY should be paid more than a WR since they are expected to have the skill set of a WR, but also block, and play WR in the middle of the field where most WRs aren’t willing to go…

    At some point, the top TEs will get paid more. I’m thinking next time a top TE like Graham hits the open market in FA and teams start a bidding war, the spending lid on TEs is going to get blown off in a big way.

  25. After getting the franchise tag in 2014, N.O. and do it again the following year. I mean 7 mill is more than he ever made (I’d be thankful) however Saints are known for this type of crap.

  26. Jimmy – find a team that might appreciate you a bit more than the Saints. Loomis can identify talent but he’s cheap.
    This whole episode with the arbitrator could have been avoided if they had paid Jimmy what he’s worth. However, Loomis lives with the consequences. Pay up or trade him. And good luck finding another 6’8″ player with freaky catching skills and athleticism.

  27. Trade him, as far as the poster that said the Saints are garbage without him, they won a super bowl without him, using Jeremy Shockey playing injured unless you forgot…

  28. “last season in nola for him” — why are some of you so ignorant to think this? Graham said he wanted to retire when Drew Brees retires because he doesn’t want any other QB throwing him the ball. Why would he leave? Because the NFL confirmed he’s a tight end? Because the Saints offered him a contract to be the highest paid tight end in NFL history? Wow, what disrespect. Some of you need to get a clue.

  29. Jimmy Graham hurt himself if the Saints offered you highest paid TE, he should have taken it. Listing to his agent mess him up, he know and Jimmy Graham knows he is a TE, Saints have enough talent that they can move on without him. Yes the talent is young but they can learn quickly so don’t say the Saints need him know they don’t. But they will get a long term deal done, don’t let your agent try and make a General Manager & Head Coach look dumb when you know what you are, and they know what you are they hired you. New Orleans Saints be good to they players, they don’t be run down if they decide to trade someone. All other teams players injured worse down nobody wants them.

  30. I side with Graham in this situation– These guys should be compensated as “Receivers”….. since when is 4 yards considered “tight” on the end (of the line)?

    The same arguments can be made in other areas of a roster… .Is a 4-3 OLB the same as a 3-4 OLB?…. Should a player like Chad Greenway be compensated the same as Clay Matthews?

    If the Commissioner really wants to change something— instead of ruining the drafte each year– Then maybe he needs to adjust the positional compensation criteria to give a player like Jimmy Graham the true compesation — relative to their value within an offense.

  31. We don’t know how much guaranteed money the Saints are willing to pay JG, and it is beginning to look like we never will know.

  32. While I believe JG to be a TE, and that he should be paid as a TE, the Saints offer of 10.5 a year is way above what I think he is worth.

    That being stated, logically he wasn’t greedy to try and get what he could. He asked for something, he didn’t get it. He has followed the procedures that he is allowed to use.

    Whether or not he is greedy should be determined based on what he does now. I say that because he has asked and by the rules been told no. So now, any of the hold out actions, would make him look greedy because he is after something that he is not entitled to.

  33. Most of you claiming that Payton, Loomis, or the Saints in general stiffed Jimmy are idiots. This was a battle between the NFL and NFLPA to determine his position. Jimmy and the Saints were just the test subjects. It almost happened with Jared Cook last season and someone else the season before, I can’t remember his name but we have been going down this path for a long time now.

    As for Jimmy leaving? If he’s smart he would take the $10M/year already offered and continue playing for a team that has just as great a chance of winning a SB over the next few years as any top team. Jimmy ask yourself this, would you rather win and have Drew throw you the ball for $1oM/year or go to Cleveland, Minnesota, Jacksonville, Oakland, so on and so forth to a team with garbage QB play and a losing record every year just for a little bit more money?

    Which one is more important to you? You’re already going to make exponentially more money than your rookie contract paid you so is it get paid or get paid and win?

  34. Can the Saints reduce the amount of their franchise offer at any point? I seem to recall the Steelers reducing the amount of their tender to Mike Wallace a couple years ago, but they did not use the franchise tag they gave him a first round tender instead.

    If they can’t reduce the amount of the tender I’m not sure Graham will be showing up until just before Week 1. And I think there is a possibility Graham pulls a Vincent Jackson and sits out part of the season. Not sure $7 million is enough to get me to risk injury for a whole season before I get a long term deal in place.

  35. If Graham wants to be paid as a wide receiver, then explain how he deserves that based on his numbers against defensive backs? I am a huge fan of Grahams, but with that said the numbers do not lie. 80% of the time he breaks the huddle and puts his hand on the ground. Motion and pre snap adjustments are used to create match up nightmares. This tells Drew who will be covering Graham, and when it’s a corner back he ranks in the bottom as far as wide receivers are concerned. Even if he would have been drafted as a receiver, he still would have been converted to a tight end.

  36. The only comment I will make on the “controversy” is it gets looked at backwards

    I don’t care if he lines up in the slot 10%, 15%, or even 50% of the time. A Wide Receiver lines up as a Wide Receiver over 98% of the time.

  37. He remains silent….until he says or tweets something….. then you can read all about it here.

  38. Sean Payton during a game: “Jimmy, go out wide.”

    Jimmy Graham: “Sorry, backstabber, I’m only a tight end, remember?”

  39. The only fans that seem to have a problem with the Saints are the ones that fail to realize that the Saints already offered Jimmy $10.4 mill and was promptly turned down… That’s well over a fair market value for the best TE in football. Seems to mostly fans of teams within the division….lol

  40. Okay, I think I speak for many Saints fans when I say this. We love Jimmy and think he should be paid in the 10 million dollar range. For all of you who think he should be paid Megatron money, call your team’s people (you’re connected, right?) and have them trade us two years worth of first and second rounders for Jimmy and then you can have him and pay him 15 mill a year (hey, why not 20? you seem to think he’s worth it). Win, win for everybody including Jimmy, amirite? Y”all are convinced that he wants to leave Nola and Brees for your QB and your city where he will be treated so much better, so get her done.

  41. Graham got hosed! It doesn’t matter that the Saints offered him a contract making him the highest paid TE in the NFL, TE’s are at the bottom at the NFL league payscale and so that means exactly what really? He wanted to be paid according to his performance and contributions to the team. Take away his sixteen TDs last season and the Saints probably wouldn’t have even made the playoffs. To use the argument of the team being cap poor, seems like a total load when they went out and gave Jarius Byrd, and unproven commodity, a $58M contract and then he turns up with a bad back! Come’n Man! This is how the Saints treat the heir apparent to being the face of their franchise behind Brees? And, why didn’t Brees offer to restructure his deal. I have a feeling this is the last season to see Graham in Black and Gold, next year maybe we’ll see him in Red and Black…I think there is a team in the NFC South who may be looking for a TE and have the money to pay him (without throwing in two 1st round picks). Shockey was great but he got burned by the Saints too…seems like there is a lesson here for rookies!

  42. And why wouldnt he remain “QUIET”… remind me what has he said during this whole process…crickets…nothing and by the way…nothing was taken from his pockets(he never had it!) but hope. Personally I think this was an opportunity that his AGENT thought he would win easily…thus more $$ in his/her pocket(can’t blame them for trying)
    Next I see the SAME people who still say Drew Brees is greedy saying the Saints hosed Graham or how the Saints have done him wrong and predicting he’ll walk( salivating for the chance their team might pick him up or hopeful that this would hurt the Saints deeply)…SORRY GUYS!!!!!

  43. There must have been a sale at the ignorant store today.

    1) the last five years, the Saints have been in the top three in real money paid to players during the year.
    2) I guess everyone forgot how Loomis has been riding the cap like a boss. Where do you think that money represents again?
    3) Graham was offered a ten million annually deal. He decided to chase the extra two mill.
    4) He’ll be a Saint for a long time.
    5) The best players on your team want to come to NOLA where the food is better, the women are hotter, the fans are better, to a team that’ll pay you what your worth and won’t just cut and run on you because you had a bad year. Unlike your team, Saints players actually get the bonus money they signed for.

    Sucks to be you

  44. Saints will make him the highest paid tight end. Both sides will be happy. He had to make this grievance because he had a reasonable chance to win. It’s a $5 mil difference! There is no reason to call one side greedy and the other side stingy, it’s business, people!!

  45. Bottom of the NFL payscale huh? Shows what you know. Do you think kickers make more than what he will make? Do you think punters make more? Do you think long snappers make more? Do you think fullbacks make more? Have you been paying attention to what running backs are getting these days? Somebody doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

  46. Oh and Jarius Byrd and unproven commodity? Really? What do you call 22 interceptions since 2009? By the way that’s the most at the safety position in that time frame. If that makes him unproven the rest of the safeties in the league must still be playing college ball. And Jimmy in an Atlanta uniform? Yeah right, maybe you can get Jimmy Clausen to go to Atlanta so you can get a better QB.

  47. People saying he is being offered 10 mil, just 2 short of what he was hoping for miss an important point. That offer came from the vantage point of him being tagged a TE and worht 7 mil. Logic says the long term deal, coming off a tag worth 12 mil, would be north of 10 mil per year. So his fight was worth more than just 2 extra million. Considerably more.

    He will probably sign, but I would advise he appeals to the full panel. The arbitrators decision on this 4 yard thing seems weak to me. What the union and league signed is clear and this arbitrator is just trying to muddy clear and plain language.

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