Graham announces new deal with Saints


On the last day for working out a long-term deal between the Saints and tight end Jimmy Graham, the Saints and Jimmy Graham worked out a long-term deal.

Throughout the offseason, the expectation existed that Graham and the Saints would work something out.  That there was already too much money on the table for Graham to walk away and carry the injury risk for another year.

The Saints knew that.  Which, as best we could tell in recent days, was causing the Saints to resist moving from their pending offer that would pay Graham $9.5 million per year on average.

Emboldening the Saints may have been the stream of messages from Graham’s camp that they were going through the motions, waiting to take the best offer but not really inclined to aggressively try to improve it.  For example, Graham and company waited until nearly the last minute to file an appeal of the arbitration decision that made him a tight end for franchise-tag purposes, with a delayed stutter-step on Monday creating the impression that Graham delivered the paperwork not with a slam dunk over the goal post but by tiptoeing on eggshells.

That’s not the way to get the Saints to pay more.  As a result, the final hours of negotiations may have been less about getting more and more about trying to get the Saints to shift around the money in a way that will create the impression that the 11th-hour talks actually made the package a little better.

Unless Graham convinced the Saints that he was prepared to suddenly act in a manner contrary to every message he had been sending, chances are that the contract Graham accepted won’t be much better than the deal that has been on the table for months.  We won’t know that until we get our hands on the numbers.

The longer it takes to get the numbers, the more likely the Saints didn’t really improve their offer much, if at all.

38 responses to “Graham announces new deal with Saints

  1. 5 yrs 50 million bout 25-27 guaranteed

    So shocking that this got resolved.

    Here’s my shock face again: :0

  2. Where in the article does it say he “announced a new deal”??? Smh. This article is all just opinion and elaboration about getting a new deal done on your part…

  3. Glad we don’t have to hear about this issue any longer. It was like watching Congress fall all over themselves to do the wrong thing again. Now we can get bored by Johnny Football stories and how the owners play by rich man’s rules and players aren’t quite treated like you and me.
    I just want training camp to start so we can read about the fights and how the Lions are going to dominate until the regular season starts and if the Vikings had a good QB they would be average at best.

  4. Wrong. This is exactly the way to squeeze the Saints to pay as much as possible, especially if Graham thought he was holding a losing hand.

    Waiting until the last minute to file the appeal was an excellent way for Graham to create leverage. There was no way that the appeal would have been resolved until after the deadline for signing a long-term deal (today). Therefore if the Saints did not reach a deal with Graham today, they ran a risk of having to pay Graham the one-year franchise salary for a receiver. The extent of the risk was uncertain because it was unclear whether the appeal would succeed. It seemed unlikely — if Graham were to win, it was more likely on the first grievance decision than on appeal — but you never know.

    Appealing earlier and having the question be resolved prior to July 15 would have removed all uncertainty and therefore removed all risk for the Saints. By waiting until the last minute to appeal, Graham created the most uncertainty, and therefore the most leverage he could by July 15.

  5. Smart move Jimmy! Welcome back! His contract also includes free Superbowl Champions merchandise ;).

  6. Minnesota Vikings that’s really funny! That’s for all the Vikings cry babies who thought a deal wouldn’t get done with Jimmy “Money” Graham. Hey Vikings I just saw Tiffany as I was passing she’s still chilling on Airline Drive. #bountyDat

  7. Go ahead chew on that haters! Swish it around and savoir the taste! That’s what crow taste like.

    You’re crazy if you thought Jimmy was leaving. He played for this team for a lot less money and they were going to make him the highest paid TE in the history of the NFL. Who in their right mind would walk away from that? Welcome home Jimmy!

  8. interesting

    Graham is very good… but the fact is that he competes against LBs and Safeties, not top CBs… he should not be paid as a top WR

    but, he is very good and productive and should be paid more than a blocking TE

    maybe time NFL stopped classifying players by position re: pay as this same situation applies at other positions as well

    exp. Sherman should not be paid like a top CB; he is a limited responsibility system guy not a top cover CB….. there are situational pass rushers that have big stats but are limited; there are even game managing QBs…

  9. Schefter says its 4 yrs 40M at 10M per which currently ties him with Brandon Marshall for 7th highest avg salary receiver (soon to be eclipsed by Julio, AJ, Dez and DeMaryius). Still think he could have gotten more as a FA, but the low TE tag forced his hand.

  10. hakunamangata says:
    Jul 15, 2014 9:57 AM
    I thought there was a salary cap…no, doesn’t apply to the Saints?
    It’s called having a genius for a GM…
    In Loomis We Trust !!!
    Your team should try it one day lol

  11. Man! Dis team is gonna be in cap he’ll!! Even this n with there qb contract to.

    Actually, the cap numbers this year and in next few years just got a lot lower for Graham.

  12. The perceived controversy no longer exists. So now, the precise preparation for total dominance begins. The team is much better than the one that won the Superbowl in 2009.

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