Brees calls Graham a tight end who has revolutionized the position

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Saints quarterback Drew Brees has stated that Jimmy Graham is a tight end, not a wide receiver — a position that an arbitrator supported last week, much to Graham’s dismay. But Brees also says Graham is a tight end who is changing the way the position is played.

“At the end of the day, Jimmy Graham has revolutionized the position,” Brees told “He’s a guy who is so talented at so many things you know and obviously he’s a big part of our offense and I hope that they’re able to reach a long-term agreement here sooner than later.”

As Graham has revolutionized the position, he has become a victim of his own success during his franchise tag fight with the Saints. Graham is so effective in the Saints’ passing game that he’s as valuable as a good wide receiver, but because he also has the size and ability to line up at tight end, the Saints can keep him with the much less lucrative tight end franchise tag.

Eventually, the NFL and the players’ union may need to reach some kind of compromise that adjusts the franchise tag designation for players who function as hybrid receiver-tight ends. But that would only happen down the road, and would benefit the next generation of tight ends who follow in Graham’s footsteps.

73 responses to “Brees calls Graham a tight end who has revolutionized the position

  1. Well talent wise…

    Kyle Rudolph > Jimmy Graham

    Watch his production be even better than Jimmy’s with an actual elite QB like Teddy Bridgewater.

    Jimmy Graham doesn’t have any pro bowl MVP’s like Kyle does.

  2. Saints are smacking this guy in the face, he has put up monstrous numbers over the past couple years. He was FIRST in the NFL in touchdowns in 2013 without him on the field the Saints offense would not be as potent. Sign the man to a contract deal he is more than deserving.

  3. C’mon Brees that term has been used to much lately. Let’s not forget your buddy Gates. Gonzalez as well but Graham hasn’t done anything different then those guys did. Not even dunking the ball over the goal post is original.

  4. Yeah if only every player got paid in some kind of fair way so that all the money went into the rightful hands. There’s more value for every dollar that goes to where it should belong, otherwise value slips through the cracks and leaves the immediate system instead of being capitalized on.

  5. The game has changed over time, I don’t get this argument for paying tight ends more because their use has changed.

    The days of the traditional block first tight end are pretty much over, just like the full back position. Now everyone wants a tight end who can block when absolutely necessary, but more importantly gain tons of yards and TD’s due to being mismatched against linebackers.

    Do we eventually start paying linebackers more since they will have to adapt at covering the new breed of tight end?

  6. He has most certainly not revolutionized the TE position, no matter which way you look at it. Gonzalez and Gates were the original basketball players who moved to football, and I believe Winslow Sr. was the first TE to be hid team’s primary dynamic passing option. Graham is performing at a level which is outstanding, but he’s not doing anything different from those guys there.

  7. What has Graham revolutionized? He’s a pass catching TE that doesn’t hold any TE receiving record. Witten has the most catches in a season and Gronk has the most Yards and TDs in a season, Tony Gonzales has the most career yards, TDs and catches. Graham is a great player, but he hasn’t done anything that hasn’t been done before.

  8. The truth of the matter is Graham and Gronk and those who come later will all drive the franchise price of tight ends up. That’s how it works. No need to worry about Jimmy and the Saints. They’ll reach agreement and everyone will be happy.

  9. First the guy was just happy to make the team…at any position. Then he was happy to be a “starting Tight End”. Now he decides he’s not a TE at all but a WR. Yet NEVER before this who tag-business came up did he every state that he was a WR and not a TE.

    Let’s not forget this is the guy that stood on his opponents 45 yard line in street clothes before a playoff game, taunting the other team…in their stadium. And then when players from the opposing team asked him who he was because no one recognized him, he had the audacity to tell them “I’m Jimmy”…”You should know who I am”. Of course he went on to have a monster game of ONE catch for 8 yards. Oh and that one catch came with 24 seconds left in the game. Umm yeah…he’s a WR alright. At least he has the WR diva attitude down pat.

  10. Amazing part is that Brees said all that without seemingly asking for an explanation…

  11. revolutionized the position….. yeah thats why you cant run the ball because JG wants to catch and not block…. now up north there is a TIGHT END named ROB that has truly revolutionized the position. GRONK is the best tight end in the past 10 years PERIOD

  12. Jimmy should thank Kellen Winslow and Tony Gonzales who actually revolutionized the position over the last 25 years…and we’re both more complete players than Jimmy.

  13. The fact of the matter is that the average salary for Tight Ends in the NFL is second lowest, with kicker being the only one lower.

    The NFL can either change the way it pays those who turn out to be their team’s biggest offensive weapon, or within five years the position will go back to being what it was, because elite playmaking athletes will insist on transitioning to WR before they get to the league.

  14. Someone get Drew a chapstick endorsement for the bum kissing, Geez. Loved the on field skirmish last season in the Clink. He’s trying to intimidate the L.O.B. by crossing over to our side of the field. Bruce Irvin trying to be nice said ‘ Hey, we are about to warm up’, Grahams response, ‘I’m Jimmy’, to which Irvin replies, ‘Who’s Jimmy?’ Then rips the ball out of ‘Jimmys’ hands and kicks it across the field. Held to 1 catch for 8 yds on the day. Dont write a check you cant cash up here Jimbo,…whoever that is.

  15. The compromise you hint at should have already come from the arbitrator if he was doing his job as arbitrators are meant to do. You look at every play that Graham ran last season and add up how many he was used as a tight end and how many he lined up as a wide receiver and then allocate the amount of franchise tag money between the two positions for his case. Simple solution. It’s not rocket science or brain surgery here folks.

  16. hey Drew

    ever hear of guys like Kellen Winslow? before sounding off you really do need to do more thinking….

    unless by revolutionized you mean converting BBall forwards to football TEs… oh wait, even then you fail ….. TGonz, AGates…

  17. He’s just another talented tight end like Gonzalez or Gates. He didn’t revolutionize anything. Heck, he didn’t even come up with an original td celebration.

  18. For cripes sake, the compromise is paying him a bit more than the franchise designation for a TE rather than the Saints hiding behind it.

  19. Graham can’t block at all, which means he’s not a TE (I think Brees could block better). He also doesn’t have the speed of a wide receiver. I think the arbitrator did the best he could. Now it’s up to the Saints and Graham to work it out. Let’s see if there are any adults involved here.

  20. “I hope that they’re able to reach a long-term agreement here sooner than later.” -Drew Brees

    Alot of good that is going to do Graham’s bank account ace. Your political butt kissing praise means nothing to Graham at this point. Money talks and you had plenty to say when you thought you were going to get tagged again during the lockout.

    Maybe “they” would have an easier time signing him if you didn’t hamstring the franchise with your greedy “me” antics. When it comes to another mans money, shut your mouth. Nobody cares about what you have to say. If you were a real leader who cared about bringing another Lombardi to the Big Easy, you would make sure your #1 guy was happy. IDK, maybe restructure that contract and give the organization some flexibility to re-sign Jimmy.

  21. To correct whoever said gronk is the best TE in years…haaa….does heath miller ring a bell???? Name 1 thing this dude does that miller cant or already has done?? Just1 and ill keep it quiet…..JUST1!!!!

  22. Graham didn’t revolutionize the position. If anyone in the modern era could be said to have done that it was Tony Gonzalez and/or Antonio Gates.

  23. He is about the 7th to “Revolutionized the position” starting with John Mackey, thru Shannon Sharpe to Gonzalez to Hernandez/Gronkowski . the latest don’t block just catch the ball in a slot/move H back/TE friendly offense…GET over it!

  24. That’s easy to say when you are overpaid and overrated Drew Brees. Take Jimmy out of that offense and its weak. Hold out Jimmy, another club will pay you what you want. Let the Saints see how dumb they are to treat you that way.

  25. Kellen Winslow was the one who changed the position and only because he had Don Coryell as his coach….Graham is product of the evoultion.

    Why Don Coryell isn’t in the Hall of Fame is mind boggling…..he changed the game….not Graham

  26. Pete Retzlaff, Dave Caspar, Kellen Winslow, Ozzie Newsome, Todd Christensen, Shannon Sharpe, Keith Jackson, Brent Jones, Jay Novacek, Ben Coates….

    The receiving specialist tight end who is not used at as blocker much (or not at all) has existed in the NFL for 60 years. It is not a modern concept. Graham’s stats are impressive, but they are more a product of # of pass attempts per game and rule changes in this era than any “revolution” in how the tight end is used.

  27. HOLD OUT ??? Are you crazy ? No one will give up 2 – 1st round picks and then pay the salary he wants. NO WAY !! He would have to hold out this entire season. Not going to happen.
    And Bree’s is just talking up his TE.
    He knows the position was changed forever by Kellen Winslow Sr. and that era.

  28. all of you out there scoffing at Drew’s comments and dropping names like Gonzales and Gates…

    here is some sunday trivia that should help you eat your crow:
    Tony Gonzales: 261 receptions for 3041 yds and 21 tds in his first 4 seasons in the league

    Antonio Gates: 265 receptions for 3378 yds and 34 tds in his first 4 seasons in the league

    Jimmy Graham: 301 receptions for 3863 yds and 41 tds in his first 4 seasons in the league

  29. Gronk blocks blah blah blah…and was hurt while blocking during an extra point attempt.


  30. love Brees as a QB…. as an intellect, not so much

    and LOL at the guys putting Graham in same sentence as TGonz or Gates (at this point).. and I really like Graham………….. move beyond stats, football is a team game and every team plays differently

    BTW – VDavis is the best TE in the league

    and KWinslow was the one that revolutionized the position.. maybe even go back to John Mackey

  31. Vernon Davis LOL

    He was on his way to becoming a certified bust until Singletary embarrassed him on the sidelines.

  32. Lol, the TE possision was revolutionized well before Graham was in the league. Maybe Brees wants someone to say he revolutionized the QB position.

  33. “Saints are smacking this guy in the face, he has put up monstrous numbers over the past couple years. He was FIRST in the NFL in touchdowns in 2013 without him on the field the Saints offense would not be as potent. Sign the man to a contract deal he is more than deserving.”
    And how is Graham turning down the biggest contract for a TE the Saints’ fault and a “smack in the face” to Jimmy? The contract would make Graham the highest paid PASS CATCHER on the Saints and the highest paid TE ever. Sounds more like Jimmy Graham is holding this up, not the Saints, who still have that offer on the table and didn’t lower it. I don’t see why you think its the Saints fault the deal isn’t done.

  34. Yeah…saying Graham revolutionized the position because he caught a lot of passes in Sean Peyton’s offense is roughly akin to saying Dante Bichette revolutionized hitting because he drove in a lot of runs at Coors Field.

    He’s a good player who stats reflect the environment he’s playing in…period.

  35. About Davis…I’ll give credit where credit is due, even if it took Singletary embarrassing him to do turn it around. He also came into the league as a freak athlete/glorified receiver and has made himself into a very good blocker and all-around tight end. It’s worth noting that San Fran’s system certainly suppresses Davis’ receiving stats even as he has developed into a blocker.

    I also think that that entire Mike Nolan era was a disaster for every young player on offense…it’s telling that Davis, Smith, Lloyd, Robinson all turned into Pro Bowlers and resurrected their careers only after escaping Mike Nolan.

  36. He didn’t “revolutionize” the TE cause TEs block. Jimmy does not block. He’s a WR that lines up against LBs and Safeties. Great player but not revolutionary. Brees is doing damage control. He knows the Saints are screwing jimmy and trying to kiss ass.

  37. Notice that Brees said nothing about this before the arbitrator made his decision.
    Having lost, Graham will play for around $5M/season less than if he had been paid like a WR.
    Drew Brees knows he needs his underpaid TE in good spirits so it was easy to make a flattering comment. If he had come forward beforehand it would have been nicer. Jimmy deserves to be on another team that will pay him what he is worth.
    Future Ex Saint.

  38. I don’t think these guys like Brees know what the word “revolutionized” means…

  39. Let chip kelly get a hold of him and you’ll see some revolution to the position…

  40. . . . Gonzalez and Gates were the original basketball players who moved to football . . .

    Actually, Cornell Green was a basketball player never played college football but joined the Dallas Cowboys in 1962. Just sayin’.

  41. For those people saying Brees should restructure his contract, type up on that fancy Google machine and you will see that he has already said he would do whatever he could to help out the team financially but the saints have yet to approach him about it and what about Joe Flacco and his selfless $120 million contract ? He makes more than Drew because he is so much better than him, right? Idiots.

  42. Eh…I’m already over Chip Kelly.

    Sean Payton > Chip Kelly

    Saints held Chip’s offense in check until Keenan Lewis left the game.

  43. Don Coryell, Kellen Winslow…

    …They were the revolutionaries, Drew…

    …and I’m a Saints fan…

    …And Drew, being you hawged so much of the salary cap…

    …do you think you can ask Jimmy to block every once-in-a-while…

    …pretty bad when you send in the third receiver (Meachem) to block…

    …and if Jimmy were playing hurt, why was he still dunking and coming down on a torn plantar fascia?!?

    He was No. 1 in one category – RecTD; he wasn’t a top 20 Receiver, Tight or Wide in any other category…

  44. All of these “I’m Jimmy” comedians ranting about nothing… What’s Jimmy supposed to say to a player that asks who he is lol

  45. I love all the haters and dudes acting like they wouldn’t love to have this guy on their squad. Because who would want a guy that scored 16 TDs last season with a torn plantar fascia(in his 5th year playing football total)?? Bunch of clowns I tell ya. And to pftpoet- aka the biggest clown of all- Graham had more touchdown catches last year than Kyle Rudolph has in his entire career. Go sit down and relax gents.

  46. Payton can use Jimmy better than Kelly can by a long shot. As far as hiding behind the tag and not wanting to pay him, do your research. The tag is 7.5 million, more or less, and they offered him 9.5 million more or less. They offered to make him the highest paid tight end in history. what kind of hiding is that?

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