Jimmy Graham Given Tight End Tag by NFL, Expected to Appeal
The NFL's Management Council has placed the franchise tag on Saints' Jimmy Graham at the position of tight end. However, Graham's time spent at the receiver position could have the deal headed toward arbitration.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement states that franchise tags will be placed on players based on the position the player participated in during the majority of the previous season. Although, Graham was named first-team All-Pro last season at the position of tight end, he will argue that he was used as a receiver more often in the 2013 season. The Saints will argue that even when Graham lined up in the slot or split wide, he was still considered a tight end.
Why does it matter?
The franchise tag for a receiver would guarantee a salary of just over $12 million for Graham. If tagged as a tight end, he would only receive a little more than $7 million. A misplaced tag is a difference of $5.2 million, which is nothing to be swept under the rug.
A long-term deal between the Saints and Graham could resolve this situation. Whatever the outcome may be, Graham will make more than the $3.3 million he has received in his four seasons in the league.