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Jimmy Graham could file grievance if franchise tag is used on him.

  • Jim Racalto
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(Credit: ESPN)

NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport reported recently that the New Orleans Saints and star TE Jimmy Graham have made no progress in negotiations for a long-term deal. This opens the door for the Saints to possibly slap the franchise tag on him – but at what position? Graham will likely file a grievance if he is tagged at tight end and not wide receiver, because there is a significant difference in money.

Via NFL.com:

Graham is an impending free agent. If he’s slapped with the franchise tag as expected, he likely will file an immediate grievance, Rapoport reported. Graham’s gripe? He wants to be tagged as a wide receiver, not a tight end, which is his official position.

There’s a stark difference in money on the line. Per NFL Media’s Albert Breer, the projected 2014 franchise-tag amount for tight end is $6.8 million, compared to $11.6 million for wide receivers.

Graham has the size, speed, and skill-set to line up at receiver and most of his production came from lining up in the slot. There’s also nearly a 100% chance he would receive a very lucrative deal if he were to hit the free agent market.

The Saints can either pay him what he wants long-term, or franchise tag him as a receiver. I highly doubt they will get their way and be able to keep him at the price for a tight end, given how consistent and important Graham has been to the offense. His 2013 stat line read: 86 receptions, 1,215 yards, and 16 touchdowns.

 

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