Jan 30, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham attends the Madden Bowl XX Red Carpet event at the USS Intrepid Mandatory. Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Saints, Jimmy Graham begin arbitration

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Jimmy Graham is a Pro Bowl tight end for the New Orleans Saints. Or he’s a Pro Bowl wide receiver. No one’s really sure, but in a couple of days, we’ll have a ruling in any case — a ruling on which millions of dollars in franchise tag money hinge.

NFL Insider Ian Rappaport reported that Jimmy Graham’s system arbitration case against the New Orleans Saints will begin on Tuesday.

The two-day process will result in a ruling that determines whether Graham will make around $7 million as a franchise tagged tight end or roughly $12M as a wide receiver.

The article outlines each side’s general argument as such:

[Graham will argue] that the Pro Bowl player should be paid like a receiver because he’s used like one after lining up wide on 67 percent of his snaps last season.

The NFL, per Rapoport, will attest that the Saints playmaker meets in the tight end room, regularly lines up on the field where tight ends line up and even lists himself as a tight end on Twitter.

Arbitration can be a dirty word in sports, but the Saints are strapped for cap space and Graham is going to demand huge money when the team is unable to franchise tag him.

Graham has 36 receiving touchdowns in the last three seasons and regardless of position will demand top market money whenever he gets that chance.

For now, he will have to be content with whatever franchise tag is ultimately placed on him.

An official decision is expected to be announced next week.

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Tags: Jimmy Graham New Orleans Saints

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