Jan 4, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) carries the ball during the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2013 NFC wild card playoff football game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Rumors: Jimmy Graham arbitration ruling to come this week


The New Orleans Saints had a chance to give Jimmy Graham what he wanted from them not too long ago but their refusal to either tag him as a wide receiver or give him a long term deal has led to a battle that may turn out to hurt the chances of the two sides working something out in the future.

According to Mike Florio from Pro Football Talk, the ruling in the Jimmy Graham franchise tag arbitration case will be coming this week.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, a ruling is expected next week.  (Which probably means it’ll come this afternoon.)

That won’t be the end of it.  The losing party party inevitably will appeal the outcome to a three-person panel under the labor deal.  And a decision may or may not be issued before the July 15 deadline for working out a long-term deal.

Graham wanted to be tagged as a wide receiver this offseason since he was used as such plenty of times during the season. But the Saints saw it as cheaper to tag him as a tight end, which he technically is, and thus started the battle between the two sides.

All of this could be solved if the Saints had just given Graham a fat long term contract that he wanted and rightfully deserved, but instead they pinched pennies to sign Jairus Byrd to a free agent deal that likely was the last straw for Graham.

It could just end up being chalked up to just business in the end, but this dispute might be something to pay attention to moving forward when it comes to how easy going Graham is in contract negotiations next season when he’s trying to get the deal he wanted this year.

Tags: New Orleans Saints