Clock is ticking for Graham, Saints

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If the Saints like to do business on a deadline basis, then they love their current situation.  By 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, the Saints must file and the NFL must approve a long-term deal with tight end Jimmy Graham. If they don’t, Graham will be able to sign only a one-year contract in 2014.

Amid Twitter sightings of both Graham and coach Sean Payton in New Orleans, the fact remains that, regardless of where the principals are located, the time has come to put signatures on a multi-year contract.

Technically, failure to agree to a long-term deal by the close of business on Tuesday would prevent the Saints from signing Graham to a multi-year contract until after the conclusion of the 2014 regular season.  As a practical matter, it would push everything back by a year, with the Saints having to decide whether to apply the tag for a second straight year to Graham.  If they do, then next July 15 becomes the deadline for signing him to a long-term deal.

It’s unclear whether they’ll actually get something done.  The Saints repeatedly have expressed optimism that an agreement will be reached.  But there’s no indication that the Saints have moved above the $9.5 million per year offer that has been on the table since before an arbitrator ruled Graham is a tight end for franchise tag purposes.

If the Saints are going to move or if Graham is going to blink and take the current offer, it all needs to happen pretty quickly.  Which means that you should be hitting your “F5” button throughout the day to see whether a deal has been struck.

36 responses to “Clock is ticking for Graham, Saints

  1. Jordan Reed ??? Really ?? He’s not even the best tight end in his division. And Alfred Morris is better than Adrian Peterson and shady McCoy to right?? I love supporting my favorite team and players but I don’t use my fandom as a substitute for my football knowledge.

  2. The Saints are doing a great job of creating animosity toward their star player. They won the franchise tag argument, now they should give a little to get the contract done. Otherwise, Graham is going to leave the first chance he finally gets.

  3. If a deal somehow DOESN’T get completed, it will be 100% Jimmy Graham’s fault. $9.5 million is likely too much for a TE, and he’s only as good as the Saints make him. He would be $4 mil per year anywhere else.

  4. This is Graham’s last chance at a big contract. He shouldn’t sign a long term deal until he’s happy with the amount. 11-12M per year, production-wise, seems fair. It will help other TEs stuck with a tag, just like Calvin’s contract helps WRs.

  5. virginiaviking says:

    “I don’t use my fandom as a substitute for my football knowledge.”

    You also are not a twelve year old like the person you were responding to.

  6. Graham should be paid for his production.

    13th in receptions
    15th in yards
    1st in TDs

    He should be paid top receiver money. Maybe not Megatron and Dez money but certainly not capped at TE money.

  7. Obviously, some of you folks never understood high school math.

    If he lined up as a wide receiver 2/3 of the time, and the franchise tag rate is 14 million, then he should get 9.3 million for that role.

    Also, if he lined up as a tight end 1/3 of the time, and the franchise rate is 7 million, he should get 2.3 million for that role.

    Add them together equals 11.6 million

    How opponents decide to defend him is beyond his control, and pure ” Aints el cheapo BS.”

  8. He’ll sign. No question.

    He really doesn’t have a choice. But why does the “best cap man in football” always have these problems with his star players?

  9. If Graham isn’t happy with the contract amount why are people on here saying he should sign it? And then if he signs it and holds out because he’s not happy with the contract the first thing I’ll hear is “you shouldn’t have sign the contract if you were not happy with it”. You people are impossible.

  10. “Jordan Reed ??? Really ?? He’s not even the best tight end in his division. And Alfred Morris is better than Adrian Peterson and shady McCoy to right?? I love supporting my favorite team and players but I don’t use my fandom as a substitute for my football knowledge.”

    Somebody has never heard of trolling…that’s almost impossible in 2014.

  11. @jchuber – found a site that agreed with your numbers

    Spotrac’s (NEW) Prediction: 5 years, $58,461,191
    • Average Annual Salary: $11,692,238
    • Guaranteed Money: $28,926,000

  12. He isn’t worth 12 million a year. He is worth 10 million for sure. If that half a million per year is what holds up the signing then that is just plain dumb on both parties. Jimmy is the best pass catching tight end in the game the last three years and he should be paid like the best tight end and that is 7.2 million for the tag. Pro rate that over a 6 year deal and that is around 42+ million. They offered 9.5 million, pro rated at 54+. He won’t get that money from a contender.

  13. Pay for production, not position. A certain QB will be demanding lots of explanations from the cheap management why they didn’t pay his favorite target.

  14. yep. about the same as what I figured in my head but without all the fancy words and terms. While I don’t agree with the statement that he was outperforming elite receivers, he did have an outstanding year. But I hope we sign him to a long term soon. Like today at 4 pm.

  15. “Peyton Manning of the TE position, regular season HOFer, post season, he disappears.”

    Except that time Peyton Manning won the Super Bowl. I guess you’re only “good” if you win more than one?

  16. jack search
    spotrac dot com projecting-te-jimmy-graham-as-a-wr-464
    Cool story bro

  17. As long s I got paid MORE than New Englands TE (who gets $9 million a year & has been injury prone the last 2 seasons) I’d be fine. $10 million the max, but $9.5 would be just as good. If you want more then than the guranteed $9.5 then hit them w/high priced incentive clauses. 12+ TDs an extra million or so. More than 800 receptions etc., etc., etc.

  18. First of all….if you think Graham and/or Peyton are conducting any part of those negotiations, you’re nuts….team lawyers and agents.

    Second, so what….if Graham holds out, he plays one more year. If the Saints are holding out in a squeeze play, he plays one more year.

    He is only going to play one more year… New Orleans.

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