New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints

Player News - Saints

Date: Team: Pos:

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

Marques Colston reiterated that he has "no restrictions" from his past chronic foot woes.

"I feel really good," insisted Colston. "The foot I know was addressed earlier in the offseason. It's really not an issue. I've been able to get out here with really no restrictions and just run around and feel good." Still only 31 -- certainly not a past-prime age for wide receivers, Colston is commonly available in the seventh and eighth rounds of pre-training camp fantasy drafts.
Jul 4 - 1:24 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

Saints first-round WR Brandin Cooks will spend two weeks working out with Drew Brees in San Diego prior to training camp.

Cooks missed much of the offseason program due to Oregon State's late graduation date. He didn't return to the Saints until partway through minicamp. Cooks and Brees will use the two weeks to make up for lost time before the pads come on in late July. Replacing Lance Moore and Darren Sproles, Cooks is a do-it-all offensive gadget piece and Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate.
Jun 24 - 12:56 PM

First-round WR Brandin Cooks has earned the nickname "lightning" from his teammates.

"A (defensive back) might be in his back pocket and the next thing you know he's 50, 60 yards down the field," said CB Keenan Lewis. Cooks ran a 4.33 at the Combine, the second-fastest time behind Dri Archer (4.26). He's going to be incredibly fast on the Superdome turf. Cooks, who missed OTAs while finishing up at Oregon State but returned for minicamp, said he'll visit Drew Brees in San Diego before training camp to learn more about the offense.
Jun 23 - 7:59 AM

The New Orleans Times-Picayune expects second-year pro Tim Lelito to be the Saints' starting center despite the signing of Jonathan Goodwin.

Columnist and former beat writer Jeff Duncan believes Goodwin "looks more like insurance than viable competition." Lelito's lone two rookie starts came at right guard, so the Saints would be placing a ton of faith in a neophyte snapper.
Jun 19 - 8:41 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

Drew Brees pointed to first-round pick Brandin Cooks as the primary replacement for Darren Sproles.

Brees described Cooks as an "explosive player, great speed, great talent, tremendous young man, loves to learn, loves the game of football." Sproles and Lance Moore are both gone, leaving a 90-reception void in Sean Payton's offense. "I think he can do a lot of things," Brees added of Cooks. "I think he can play outside receiver. I think I he can play inside in the slot. You can hand him reverses. You can throw him screens. He can return punts."
Source: USA Today
Jun 18 - 9:03 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


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