This is one step in the process, but there is still a lot of work to be done if the New Orleans Saints and superstar tight end Jimmy Graham are going to resolve their situation.
Following what was expected to happen, the Saints slapped Graham with the franchise tag on Friday night. Graham self-reported the news:
Confirming it’s officially Franchisefriday… TAG … I guess I’m it…
— Jimmy Graham (@TheJimmyGraham) February 28, 2014
From there a number of details still loom.
WR or TE?
Because the one-year salary with the tag is determined by league average salaries, the big question has been whether Graham will get paid like a wide receiver or a tight end. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk breaks down that process.
Despite reports suggesting that the Saints would be tagging Graham as a tight end, the Saints simply apply the tag generically. The NFL Management Council will determine whether to apply the $7.035 million tight end franchise tender or the far more lucrative $12.315 million receiver franchise tender.”
Non-Exclusive Franchise Tag
Chris Mortensen passes along an intriguing detail this morning.
Saints slapped @TheJimmyGraham w NON-exclusive tag, creating more drama. Any team can sign Graham for 2 1st picks or Saints can match
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) March 1, 2014
That is an immense price to pay, even for a player as dominant as Graham. It is hard to imagine any team getting serious about him at that price, but one never knows.
Will they work out a deal?
The franchise tag, which had to be applied by Monday’s deadline, can serve as a placeholder if the two sides can agree on a long-term deal. Right now that seems unlikely given the contentious nature of things thus far, but things could change quickly if the two sides start talking about a deal.