Saints consider Jimmy Graham a tight end, for franchise tag purposes

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Saints intend to put the franchise tag on Jimmy Graham if they can't agree to a long-term deal, but will not be paying him as a wide receiver.

New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis confirmed that he will use the franchise tag on tight end Jimmy Graham if the two sides can't reach an agreement on a long-term contract. He will also consider Graham to be a tight end for the tag, rather than a wide receiver.

Graham's rookie deal is up in the offseason, but it's unlikely he will hit the free agent market. Despite his listed position, he played the majority of his snaps as a wide receiver, setting up a potential contract showdown over the spring. The difference between the tight end and receiver franchise tag number is roughly $4.5 million, and the Saints are facing a major salary cap crunch.

However this situation plays out, Graham is headed for a huge payday either way after leading the league with 16 receiving touchdowns in 2013. One of the most important players in New Orleans' offense, the Saints will try to work out an extension with Graham, but they're prepared to use the tag on him if they have do. This would set up a potential game of chicken that may not be resolved until training camp.

More from SB Nation NFL

SB Nation's complete coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII

Sherman's deflection: The Xs and Os behind the big story

The sordid end of David Meggett: From All-Pro to prison

Why are you mad at Richard Sherman? | Sherman explains interview

NFL mock draft: Senior Bowl could shake up 1st round

Senior Bowl 2014 | Measurements released | Game preview

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.