Report: Jimmy Graham To File Immediate Grievance If Franchise Tagged As A Tight End
If New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham received the franchise tag at his position, he plans to file an immediate grievance with the league. This, according to a report from Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
As I highlighted yesterday at the start of a “franchise tag” period, the Saints have until March 3rd to work out a long-term deal with Graham. If they can’t, the exclusive franchise tag will assuredly be placed on him.
Graham is a tight end. He wants to be paid like a wide receiver. On 67% of his offensive snaps, he lined up in the slot or out wide. His agent Jimmy Sexton will argue that Graham is more of a wide receiver than a tight end.
The difference in a franchise tagged WR and a franchise tagged TE is roughly $4.5 million.
For the Saints to place a franchise tag on Graham, they’d have to clear out enough cap space to do so. If he’s tagged as a tight end, the Saints would need to create $6.8 million of current cap space. If he’s tagged as a wide receiver, they would need $11.6 million of cap space
If and when Graham files a grievance, the outcome could have a drastic effect on how many players Saints GM Mickey Loomis can keep around during offseason negotiating.
Loomis has maintained that the Saints view Graham as a tight end.
The best way to avoid a grievance would be for the Saints and Graham’s camp to agree to a long-term deal. This scenario is highly unlikely, as no progress has been made in the negotiations.
As I stated yesterday. Dig in Saints fans. It’s going to be an interested offseason.