New Orleans placed the non-exclusive franchise tender on Graham, which means the Saints would receive two first-round picks if the Saints decide not to match a signed offer sheet.
It’s worth mentioning that there has been no reported interest in Graham throughout the offseason. However, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes that there is at least a chance that Graham would be willing to listen to an interested team now that he has lost his grievance regarding his position.
Joel Corry of CBS Sports mentions that the Saints are vulnerable to a front-loaded offer sheet given that they only $1.7 million under the cap.
Any team willing to make a run at Graham would have to be comfortable parting with multiple first-round picks, but it is possible to sign him away from New Orleans.
For what it’s worth, Florio believes it would make sense for the Packers and Falcons to consider making a run at Graham.
The Saints have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term contract with Graham and you can bet that Wednesday’s ruling will factor into contract talks. Graham lost close to $5 million with this ruling, but there has been some speculation that New Orleans could still offer him a base salary of close to $10 million annually.
Graham managed to put together a very good season, despite the fact that he was hampered by a foot injury for a good portion of the year. He totaled 86 receptions for 1,215 yards receiving and 16 touchdowns and was rated by Pro Football Focus as the No. 1 tight end in the league.