TE still pushing to be considered a receiver which could result in grievance.
The New Orleans Saints have used their franchise tag on Jimmy Graham, although it is expected he will file a grievance in order to be considered as a receiver.
By placing the franchise tag on the 27-year-old, the Saints have protected their rights to their star tight end through to next season on a $7.04m deal.
However, it is possible under the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement that Graham could be tagged as a receiver because of the number of times he has featured in the role, which would in turn command a tag of $12.3m.
The move was expected as the two parties continue discussions over a long-term deal, although there is likely to be some friction between the two as Graham could push, through the players’ association, to be considered as a receiver.
Having lined up out wide or in the slot on 67 percent of his snaps last season it would appear that he has a substantial case, and it could prove key to future negotiations which will give him serious leverage if he chooses to up his demands.
Meanwhile, the Saints are adamant that he is a tight end with general manager Mickey Loomis reminding everyone recently that that is the position for which they drafted him for and for which he was selected in the Pro Bowl.
Graham has emerged as one of the most prolific tight ends in the league as he has 301 receptions for 3.863 yards and 41 touchdowns since arriving as a third-round pick in the 2010 Draft.
While it is expected that he will become one of the league’s top paid tight ends eventually, it remains to be seen how his relationship with New Orleans develops as he explores his options.