Saints Have Signed All Rookies, Time To Sign Graham
According to the NFLPA, the New Orleans Saints are $1,935,121 under the salary cap.
Having signed their entire rookie class, the Saints last obstacle this offseason is their contract standoff with star tight end Jimmy Graham.
While they don't have much of a cushion, New Orleans general manager Mickey Loomis will construct Jimmy Graham's contract to consist of heavy salary cap numbers in the later years of his contract. One way to accomplish the feat is to offer a large signing bonus.
For example, Drew Brees received a $37 million signing bonus in 2012 when he inked a six-year deal. His base salary that season was $3 million. While he made $40 million in 2012, it only counted $10.4 against the Saints cap. A signing bonus can be prorated over the length of a multi-year deal.
Graham was slapped with the franchise tag by the Saints earlier this offseason. He fought back, filing a grievance through the NFLPA to be tagged as a wide receiver. The hearing is set for June 17-18, according to reports.
The best case scenario for the Saints and Graham is to agree on a deal before the hearing, otherwise the contract standoff will drag on until the middle of July.