Jimmy Graham TE NO 9 Days

Saints GM Mickey Loomis hinted that contract negotiations with franchise player Jimmy Graham haven't picked up much.

Loomis isn't worried about the April 22 deadline for Graham to file a grievance over his designation. His eye is on getting a long-term deal done before training camp, which is still four months away. Even if Graham wins the grievance and is awarded $12.3 million on a wideout franchise tag, he's not going anywhere.

Jimmy Graham TE NO 24 Days

Coach Sean Payton called the NFL's franchise tag system "antiquated."

Jimmy Graham TE NO 24 Days

Owner Tom Benson is "confident" the Saints will reach a long-term agreement with franchise player Jimmy Graham.

"I'm confident we'll work out something," Benson said. "We just have a little bit of time to do it, that's all." Profootballtalk reported Tuesday that the "current expectation" is that the sides will hammer out an extension before April 22. That's Graham's deadline to file a grievance for being franchised as a tight end, and not a receiver.

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Profootballtalk reports the "current expectation" is that the Saints and franchise player Jimmy Graham will agree to a long-term deal before April 22.

April 22 is the deadline by which Graham must file a grievance regarding his designation as a tight end. As Mike Florio points out, that's when things could start getting ugly between the Saints and Graham. So it makes the most sense to hammer out a deal before then. When all is said and done, Graham will become the league's highest-paid tight end and could net $10 million annually.

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A Packers official says the idea of his team going after Jimmy Graham is "dumb beyond dumb...won't happen."

The Saints used the non-exclusive franchise tag on Graham, which means other teams can negotiate with him. If he gets an offer, New Orleans will have the chance to match. Of course, that new team would have to both pay Graham and give up two first-round picks. Despite Graham's MVP-caliber ability, most teams will balk at that price tag. The Saints would almost certainly match any offer anyway.

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Saints GM Mickey Loomis expects an amicable resolution to franchise player Jimmy Graham's contract situation.

The sides are set to battle over whether Graham should be tagged as a tight end or wide receiver. "Look, I had (hoped) we'd come to some conclusion on a longer-term deal before this," Loomis said. "We'll just let it play out, and I'm sure we'll get something resolved." No matter how bitter the position fight gets, Graham will remain a Saint in 2014.

Jimmy Graham TE NO 2 Months3 Comments

Franchise player Jimmy Graham isn't expected to report to the Saints until his contract situation is resolved.

Graham was officially tagged as a tight end Monday. He'll put up a fight that he should be paid as a receiver. The tight end franchise number is $7.035 million, compared to $12.312 million for receivers. This could drag into the summer. Graham will almost certainly skip OTAs if a long-term deal isn't reached and could even stay at home for training camp. The fun is just beginning.

Jimmy Graham TE NO 2 Months

Jimmy Graham was officially franchise tagged as a tight end.

Graham will appeal that he should be tagged as a wide receiver. With the tight end tag $7.035 million and the receiver tag $12.312 million, Graham has $5.3 million reasons to appeal.

Jimmy Graham TE NO 2 Months

Saints used the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jimmy Graham.

Under the terms of the non-exclusive tag, other teams will be allowed to negotiate with Graham. If Graham and another team come to terms, the Saints will have the option to match the deal. If the Saints do not wish to match the deal, Graham's new team will send New Orleans two first-round picks as compensation. That scenario is unlikely to unfold, and this is likely just one of a series of twists and turns to come in the Graham contract saga.

Jimmy Graham TE NO 2 Months

Jimmy Graham is scheduled to make $7.035 million in 2014 under the terms of the tight end franchise tag.

That number could jump to $12.312 million if Graham wins his likely forthcoming appeal to be considered a wide receiver. Both sides could avoid any confrontation by hashing out a new long-term deal. The other offensive numbers were also announced. Quarterbacks will cost $16.912 million, running backs $9.54, and offensive lineman $11.654.