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Jimmy Graham | Tight End

Team: New Orleans Saints
Age / DOB:  (27) / 11/24/1986
Ht / Wt:  6'7' / 265
College: Miami (FL)
Contract: view contract details
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Recent News

Jimmy Graham's $8 million 2015 salary becomes fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2015 waiver period.
Graham's new four-year, $40 million contract included $21 million in guarantees. That comes in the form of a $12 million signing bonus, $1 million 2014 base salary and $8 million 2015 base. So he's a lock to get all that money, and is an excellent bet to get all $40 million as long as he sustains health. If Graham does play out the full four years at his current dominant level, he'll break the bank when he hits the open market at age-31. His camp had no leverage in this deal because they were handcuffed by the franchise tag. Jul 16 - 10:29 AM

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Player News

Date:

Saints signed TE Jimmy Graham to a four-year, $40 million contract that contains $21 million guaranteed.

Deadlines spur action. The two sides agreed to the deal hours before the 4 PM ET deadline on Tuesday afternoon. Graham is now the league's highest-paid tight end at $10 million per year, besting Rob Gronkowski's $9 million annual rate. His $21 million guaranteed is $5 million more than Jared Cook and Dennis Pitta recently received from the Rams and Ravens, respectively. Graham is now locked up through his age-31 season and remains fantasy's top tight end.
Jul 15 - 9:05 AM

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Saints and franchise player Jimmy Graham are "closing in" on a deal that would make Graham the highest-paid tight end in league history.

Reports of a long-term deal have been seconded by FOX Sports and Profootballtalk. The sides have until Tuesday to finalize a long-term agreement. If talks fall apart, Graham would be forced to play out 2014 under the tight-end franchise tag (though he's appealed his tag as a tight end). Graham will blow by the $16 million guaranteed — the most for any current tight end — Dennis Pitta and Jared Cook received in their recent deals.
Jul 14 - 5:16 PM

Jimmy Graham has appealed independent arbitrator Stephen Burbank's decision that he should be franchise tagged as a tight end.

There had been speculation that Graham wouldn't appeal. The lack of an appeal would have been an indication that the sides were ready to strike an agreement before Tuesday's deadline to sign franchise players to long-term contracts. Now, it's uncertain if the sides will come to an accord.
Jul 14 - 4:43 PM

The deadline for Jimmy Graham to appeal independent arbitrator Stephen Burbank's franchise tag decision is believed to be Monday, July 14.

It's surprising the NFLPA has taken this long to formally file the appeal. Meanwhile, the deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign long-term extensions is Tuesday, July 15. PFT's Mike Florio, an attorney, expects either a long-term deal between the Saints and Graham before July 14 at 4PM, or the appeal to be filed by the NFLPA. Both sides would likely prefer a long-term pact.
Jul 11 - 2:39 PM

A source with knowledge of the situation tells Profootballtalk.com the Saints were not thrilled with the way arbitrator Stephen Burbank ruled in their favor during the Jimmy Graham franchise tag case.

The Saints "disagree" a tight end's position is determined by whether he lines up within four yards of an offensive tackle. They believe three factors distinguish tight ends: 1) Their size 2) The position group with which they meet 3) How they are defended. PFT's Mike Florio, who is an attorney, suggests the Graham case could be "a little more vulnerable to reversal" on appeal. We're still not worried about Graham losing tight end eligibility in fantasy football leagues.
Jul 6 - 8:58 PM

Profootballtalk reports the Saints have offered franchise player Jimmy Graham a multi-year contract worth $9.5 million annually.

PFT's Mike Florio hints the offer has been on the table for some time now, and the Saints have no plans to withdraw it, even after winning the arbitration case against Graham on Wednesday. At $9.5 million per year, Graham would be the league's highest-paid tight end. The offer also reportedly contains a "considerable chunk of fully guaranteed money up front." Florio expects the two sides to hammer out a deal at some point before the July 15 deadline.
Jul 4 - 10:47 AM

According to agent Jimmy Sexton, contract negotiations between Jimmy Graham and the Saints will start at "ground zero."

The two sides will have a lot of ground to cover before the July 15 deadline to complete a long-term deal, especially if Graham appeals Wednesday's ruling that deemed him a tight end for franchise tag purposes. Still, it's extremely difficult to see Graham playing on a one-year tender for a meager $7.035 million and it's even more difficult to see the Saints risking a holdout. Expect a deal that pays Graham as an elite receiver to get done just before the clock strikes zero.
Source: NFL.com
Jul 3 - 8:19 AM

Arbitrator Stephen Burbank has ruled that Jimmy Graham is a tight end for franchise designation purposes.

Graham split off the line of scrimmage on 67 percent of his snaps last year, but he was drafted as a tight end, goes to tight end meetings and called himself a tight end in his Twitter bio. It led to the Saints winning the case, meaning they're scheduled to pay Graham $7.035 million on his one-year tender instead of the $12.312 million he would have gotten as a wide receiver. The two sides will continue to work on a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline, and now the Saints have a little extra leverage in negotiations. For fantasy purposes, Graham will retain his tight end eligibility and will not be adding wide receiver status. He's the biggest difference-maker at the fantasy football's thinnest position.
Jul 2 - 12:11 PM

Arbitrator Stephen Burbank plans to inform the Saints and NFL of Jimmy Graham's franchise tag designation on Thursday, July 3.

Burbank will decide whether the Saints' tight end tag should stick, or whether Graham should be honored as a wide receiver. The "losing" side is expected to then appeal Burbank's ruling. Our ultimate expectation is a compromise in the middle, with Graham maintaining tight end eligibility in all fantasy leagues.
Jun 30 - 4:43 PM

A source with knowledge of the situation tells Profootballtalk.com that a ruling on Jimmy Graham's franchise tag designation is expected this week.

Unfortunately, as PFT notes, "that won't be the end of it" because the losing side will appeal. The Saints tagged Graham as a tight end, but the NFLPA is arguing he should be paid as a wide receiver after lining up in the slot or outside on 67 percent of his 2013 snaps. The tight end tag is worth $5.3 million less than the wideout tag. Ultimately, a meet-in-the-middle compromise is likely. While we don't anticipate Graham losing his tight end eligibility in fantasy leagues, it is possible he could add wide receiver eligibility, which would enhance his value.
Jun 29 - 1:38 PM

In an effort to win Jimmy Graham's grievance against the NFL, the league has used Graham's Twitter bio against him.

While the sides conflict over Graham's position, the NFL is arguing Graham attends tight end meetings, lines up where tight ends in today's game line up, and promotes himself as a tight end on Twitter. (Not a wide receiver.) "Isn't that what we drafted him as?" GM Mickey Loomis said. "Isn't that what he made the Pro Bowl as? That's what we see him as, a tight end. ... That's what makes him valuable." Regardless of the grievance outcome, fantasy owners should expect Graham to maintain tight end eligibility going forward.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 18 - 9:24 PM

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports a settlement is unlikely in Jimmy Graham's franchise-tag dispute with the NFL.

Graham appears supremely confident in his argument that he should be tagged as a receiver, and not a tight end. Per Rapoport, the verdict is expected within the next 5-7 days. RapSheet believes the average annual value in long-term talks would center around the $7.035 million tight end franchise number if Graham loses his grievance. If he wins, he's expected to sign his $12.3 million tender in relatively short order, placing the Saints in a cap bind.
Source: NFL.com
Jun 17 - 9:42 PM

Franchise player Jimmy Graham's grievance hearing begins Tuesday.

Graham was tagged as a tight end at $7.035 million, but is fighting for the wide receiver tag of $12.3 million. The NFL will argue that Graham calls himself a tight end, meets in the Saints' tight end room, and lines up where tight ends line up on the field. The Players Association argues that Graham lined up as a receiver 67 percent of the time, which gives Graham and the NFLPA plenty of confidence. Graham's hearing is expected to span the next two days.
Jun 17 - 9:43 AM

An NFL source calls the NFLPA's claim that Jimmy Graham should be franchise tagged as a receiver as opposed to a tight end a "naked cash grab."

That's an actual source within the NFL, as opposed to the vague "league source" we typically encounter in these kinds of stories. "It ignores Mr. Graham's use as a traditional tight end on roughly 60 percent of the snaps where he lined up within four yards of the tackle," the league's source said of Graham's argument. "It also ignores the historical use of the tight end position." The league can gripe all it wants, but the fact is, Graham lined up in the slot or out wide on 67 percent of his snaps last season. Graham could win his grievance, upping his tag from $7.035 million to $12.3 million.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 10 - 9:15 PM

Depth Charts

Skill Players
PosRoleName
QB1Drew Brees
2Luke McCown
3Ryan Griffin
4Logan Kilgore
RB1Pierre Thomas
2Mark Ingram
3Khiry Robinson
4Travaris Cadet
5Tim Flanders
GLB1Mark Ingram
2Pierre Thomas
3RB1Pierre Thomas
2Travaris Cadet
FB1Erik Lorig
2Austin Johnson
WR11Marques Colston
2Robert Meachem
3Nick Toon
4Andy Tanner
5Seantavius Jones
WR21Kenny Stills
2Brandin Cooks
3Joe Morgan
4Charles Hawkins
5Brandon Coleman
WR31Brandin Cooks
TE1Jimmy Graham
2Ben Watson
3Josh Hill
4Je'Ron Hamm
5Nic Jacobs
K1Shayne Graham
2Derek Dimke