Saints want to sign Jimmy Graham to contract extension, GM says

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis is optimistic a long-term deal will be worked out to keep the All-Pro tight end in New Orleans.

With all of his team's 2013 draft class on the books, New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis is turning his attention to keeping Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham in the Big Easy past 2013. Loomis told the Times-Picayune that he is optimistic a long-term deal between Graham and the team will be worked out.

For more Saints coverage: Canal Street Chronicles

Graham is currently in the final year of his $3.3 million rookie contract, which he signed after being selected by the Saints in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He is set to make $1.323 million in base salary this year.

In addition to locking down their new draft picks, the Saints have recently restructured several key contracts, including those of Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith. After both players agreed to pay cuts, the team now has about $5 million in 2013 salary cap room, allowing them flexibility on a potential contract with Graham.

Graham has been a dominant force in his three seasons with the Saints, racking up 2,648 yards and 25 touchdowns during that span. He was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2011 when he broke the NFL record for receiving yards by a tight end -- though he would hold it for just a matter of hours before Rob Gronkowski overtook the mark later that day.

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