Dec 29, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) reacts after a first down catch during the first half of a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Saints' Jimmy Graham appealing franchise tag ruling

Jimmy Graham stands to lose millions of dollars after an arbitrator ruled the New Orleans Saints can tag their franchise player as a tight end.

The ruling was handed down earlier this month that will pay Graham nearly $5 million less than wide receivers who are designated with the franchise tag. Graham will make $7.053 million unless he and the Saints come to terms on a new deal.

Graham can also appeal the decision which he has decided to formally appeal the decision on Monday, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.

The Saints have until 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday to sign Graham to an extension or he will have to play out the season on his one-year franchise tender which is once again up in the air for one of the top pass-catchers in the NFL.

Whether he lines up on the line, in the slot or on the perimeter, Graham is one of the top players at any position in the NFL and should be compensated as such. The NFL needs to adapt and adjust their rules for franchise designations as the tight end position continues to morph and evolve from what it used to be before transcendent players like Graham revolutionized the position.

Graham, 27, is coming off a career-high 16 touchdowns last season when he caught 86 passes for 1,215 yards. His second time in his four-year career when he topped the 1,000-yard plateau. He is a two-time Pro Bowl selection and was a first team All-Pro in 2013.

Tags: Football Jimmy Graham New Orleans Saints

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