NFLPA files grievance on behalf of Jimmy Graham
New Orleans Saints star Jimmy Graham has filed a grievance through the NFLPA claiming that he should be recognized under the franchise tag as a wide receiver, not a tight end.
The Saints franchise tagged Graham back in March as a tight end, which would pay him a mandatory salary of $7.05 million for this season. However, if he were to be tagged as a wide receiver, that number would jump to $12.3 million.
Graham has a legitimate case and a very good chance to win his grievance. He lined up in the slot or on the outside on 67% of the snaps he played last season, which is more conducive to a receiver than a tight end.
The next step in the process is for the NFLPA and the managers’ council to find a third-party to be the arbitrator. The winner of the hearing will ultimately gain leverage when it’s time to talk about a long-term deal. There is no timetable as of now for when a hearing is actually going to be scheduled.
Both Graham and the Saints should have July 15th circled on their calendars, because after that date players who received the franchise tag can only sign one-year contracts.