San Francisco, CA, United States (4E Sports) – While looking for his own contract extension, San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis expressed belief that New Orleans Saints’ tight end Jimmy Graham deserves more than just a franchise-tag salary.
“I think Jimmy Graham is trying to make an informed decision as far as his contract. He believes that he deserves more, and I believe that he deserves more,” Davis said when asked about the franchise-tag grievance that Graham filed.
“He’s just a wonderful presence. He’s a great player. He has a lot of potential to go above and beyond and just go further. He is one of those guys that is a part of that TE position that are changing the game — Antonio Gates, Jimmy Graham, [Rob] Gronkowski,” he added.
“Those guys are some fantastic players. If it was me, if I was the owner of the team, I would give the kid everything he wants because he’s that,” Davis further said.
Graham’s grievance hearing is scheduled for June 17-18, when a neutral third-party arbitrator will hear arguments as to whether Graham should be considered a wide receiver instead, since he lined up for 67 percent of his snaps either in the slot or out wide last season.
The one-year franchise-tag salary for tight ends and wide receivers is $7.035 million and $12.3 million, respectively. That ruling could have a huge effect on the long-term contract negotiations between the Saints and Graham.
“If you’re a guy who’s catching a lot of passes and you possess some of the traits that wide receivers have, then yes, I agree. I think that he should get paid like a wide receiver,” Davis said when asked if he feels like tight ends should be paid more like receivers.