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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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Saints coach Sean Payton said he was upset with Jimmy Graham's two 15-yard unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties for dunking over the goal posts in Friday's preseason game.
Graham and Payton got into an argument after the second penalty. "Yes, I was. I'm very upset," said Payton. "Would you be upset? I was, particularly." Dunking on the goal posts is Graham's signature move, but has been a generic touchdown celebration for years. It's surprisingly poor form by Graham to be showing up the NFL's offseason rule change. Graham should end his protest in Week 1. Aug 16 - 2:56 PM

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Jimmy Graham caught five passes for 48 yards and two touchdowns in the Saints' second preseason game Friday night.

Graham drew penalties after each score for dunking over the goal posts, a fact of which coach Sean Payton was none too pleased. The dunks are Graham's way of protesting an offseason rule change that outlawed celebrations that used the football as a "prop," though he will likely end the protest once the regular season begins. Graham has seven catches for 65 yards and two TDs this preseason.
Aug 15 - 10:09 PM

Teammate Kenny Vaccaro said Jimmy Graham is "flying" at Saints camp.

"The dude's flying. He's faster than last year, he seems stronger," said Vaccaro, who often matches up with Graham in team drills. Although Graham has often battled nagging injuries, he's missed just one game over the last three years and leads the NFL in TD catches during that span. An elite producer at a position lacking strong depth, Graham is a no-brainer first-round fantasy pick.
Source: ESPN.com
Aug 7 - 9:16 AM

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

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