Recent reports indicate that Jimmy Graham, the stud Tight End and I emphasize Tight End, for the New Orleans Saints may get slapped with the franchise tag this off season. Football is a team sport unlike any other and "Graham's Group" isn't playing that way. They view Graham as a Wide Receiver and if hit with the impending franchise tag that he should be paid as such. Here's the problem kids...Jimmy Graham plays TE, not WR!
The arguments coming from the Graham Group are that he splits out to the slot often during games and lines up as a WR at times. Okay fellas, so do at least half of the TE's in the NFL if not more. Should they all be paid like Wide Outs too?! Come on here. If Jimmy Graham wants to be paid like a top level WR than that's the position he should play. Then you can get your big time money but until then Jimmy Graham is a Tight End and that's that!
Then they'll say, well he caught more passes than any other Tight End's and more than most Wide Receivers. Okay boys, think logically here. Graham is lined up against Linebackers and Safety's as opposed to the WR's who are covered by cornerbacks, men trained to cover Wide Outs. I'm sure Graham, would have success against plenty of corners in this league as he has done before. But go do it full time, play in and play out and see if he has the same numbers as Brandon Marshall, Josh Gordon, Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson and so on and so on.
Now the back story is that the Saints want to franchise Graham this season and possibly give him a long term contract after 2014. The monetary policy behind this is that the team would be saving roughly $5 million this year. Not to mention the number of other players on the TEAM that also need and deserve to get paid as well. If you want to be the best it will cost you sometimes. Drew Brees got a lot of cash from the franchise. Maybe he'll step in again and help out the teams financial situation.
There is no doubt that Jimmy Graham is an extremely valuable player in the National Football League. Last season alone he caught 86 passes for 1,215 yards and 16 TD's. Graham was banged up in 2012 but in 2011 he caught 99 balls for 1,310 yards and 11 TD's. He's Brees' favorite target and for good reason. The guy catches almost everything thrown his way and has the numbers to prove it. But again, he is listed as a TE and matches up against LB's and Safety's the majority of the times he goes out on a route where Graham is favored to make the reception standing at 6'7 and 260 pounds.
So I can understand Graham's Group endorsing him as being franchised as a WR. But if that's the case then the league will have to do that for every team because when you look at the Broncos, Colts, Patriots, 49ers, Cowboys, Ravens, Lions and etc. well you just have to do it and the league will not go down that route. So Mr. Jimmy Graham whom I admire as a football player, please don't cry about this and tell the team you want to be a Wide Receiver or get yourself a contract from the Saints or another organization that will pay like one. Sorry kid but that's the way the rules are set up. This is real business, not Monopoly money.