According to ESPN, arbitrator Stephen Burbank denied Jimmy Graham's request to officially be declared a wide receiver under the NFL's franchise-tag rules.

Although Graham lined up either in the slot or out wide on 67 percent of his snaps last year, Burbank agreed with the New Orleans Saints and the NFL Management Council, who argued that the tight end position has always involved a combination of splitting out wide to run pass routes and staying in to block -- especially in today's modern passing offenses.

Graham and the NFL Players Association can appeal the decision within 10 days to a three-member appeals panel.

In the meantime, the Saints will not have to increase their one-year tender offer of $7.053 million to Graham. The receiver tender would have cost them $12.132 million.
Graham and the Saints should now be able to focus on setting their own value for Graham in long-term contract talks. The deadline for signing long-term deals with franchised players is July 15.
Filed Under: NFL


"I feel sorry for the children you're or may raise in the future if you think otherwise."

Like I said, Dumbass, the Saints were breaking passing records before Graham came here...that's a fact. They traded up in the draft to get a Top 3 receiver and Graham's targets will go down; that's a fact. Another fact is that opposing teams have figured out how to shut Graham down. Put a CB on him and he he disappears.

Don't let facts get in the way of your hatred for the Saints. children are productive members of society, unlike the demented fools are have, or will have.
Reply40 months
Adono, I frickin hate the Saints, can't stand em. But if you think they won't miss a beat without Graham you're sadly mistaken. No one will deny that he is one of if not the top TE in the game now. To think otherwise is just dumb. Y'all will lose production without him IF he decides to leave. I feel sorry for the children you're or may raise in the future if you think otherwise.
Reply41 months
"I'm sure he'll want to sign a long term deal with a team that went to arbitration to get him 40% less than he wanted."

If he doesn't want to do a long term deal the team will, eventually, trade him and won't miss a beat. Brees was breaking passing records before Graham came here and I suspect the Saints will continue playing their games if he leaves.

Second point, The Saints ("a team") didn't go to arbitration with Graham...the NFL league office did...the same party which classified him as a TE.
Reply41 months
I'm sure he'll want to sign a long term deal with a team that went to arbitration to get him 40% less than he wanted.
Reply41 months
There appears to be language in the new CBA that says a franchise tag designation is based upon the position that you lined up at the majority of the snaps you played. I'll bet that language is going to create many more situations like this one...especially with RBs who move to the Slot on passing plays.
Reply41 months
He's a frickin Tight End for fricks sake. You can't claim to be a WR just for extra $. You get what you get and you don't pitch a fit.
Reply41 months
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