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Jimmy Graham Signs $40 Million Contract With Saints

Jimmy Graham
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham and the New Orleans Saints have agreed to a 4-year, $40 million, with $21 million guaranteed.

Graham had a message for Saints fans after inking the deal.

@TheJimmyGraham/twitter

The Saints tweeted out a message about the deal as well.

@Saints/twitter

Graham’s contract makes him the highest paid tight end in NFL history on a per-year basis. However, San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis earned the most guaranteed money ($23 million) in NFL history for a tight end.

The fact that Graham’s deal is only for 4 years makes it likely that he’ll play out the entirety of the contract. At only 27 years old, its likely Graham sees every penny of the $40 million deal.

New Orleans and Graham had until 3:00 PM today to workout a long term deal, otherwise Graham would’ve been forced to play the 2014 season on a franchise tag.

Graham and his agent, Jimmy Sexton, argued that Graham should be tagged as a wide receiver, not a tight end. After a two-day fight in arbitration, Graham was ruled a tight end. Yesterday, his camp appealed the decision, in hopes it could give them leverage in the last 24 hours of negotiations.

At an average of $10 million a year, Graham would be the 7th highest paid wide receiver in the league…if he played wide receiver. As expected, his deal makes him the highest paid tight end in the league, and in NFL history.

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