New Orleans, LA, United States (4E Sports) – New Orleans Saints star Jimmy Graham has filed a grievance whether he should be considered a tight end or wide receiver in his franchise tag.
Filing with the help of the NFL Players Association, Graham challenged the NFL’s management council ruling that he is a tight end, a position that has a mandatory tag salary of $7.05 million.
However, Graham, in his grievance, claimed that he should be considered a receiver because he lined up for 67 percent of his snaps either out wide or in the slot in 2013. If he wins, his franchise-tag salary will vault to $12.3 million.
After this, the players’ association and management council will agree agree on a neutral, third-party arbitrator. It’s unclear how quickly the process will begin or when a hearing will be scheduled.
It’s also unclear what motivated Graham to file the grievance at this time. But it could speed up negotiations between the Saints and Graham’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, if both sides decide they want to reach an agreement before an arbitrator gets involved.
In past years, similar debates have sprung up with free-agent tight ends Jared Cook and Jermichael Finley and linebacker/defensive end Terrell Suggs. In each case, an agreement was reached before an arbitrator handed down a ruling.
The ultimate deadline hanging over Graham and the Saints is July 15. After that date, franchised players can sign one-year deals only.
Graham would almost certainly become the highest-paid tight end in NFL history, surpassing the $9 million per year the New England Patriots gave Rob Gronkowski two years ago