Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that a league source has informed him that the Saints haven’t begun contract discussions with TE Jimmy Graham and adds that there’s “no indication” that they will.
Graham, 26, will be entering the final year of his contract next season and has a base salary of $1.323 million. He’s quickly become one of the best weapons in the league and there’s no doubt that the Saints would like to ensure that he remains in New Orleans for the foreseeable future.
Florio makes the point that the Saints could probably save money in the long-run by addressing his contract now rather than allow him to gain extra leverage as he nears free agency. But, the real issue for New Orleans is the fact that they’re in a tough cap situation and are prepared to make the transition to a 3-4 base defense next year.
There has already been plenty of talk that they could shed a number of big salaries in the coming weeks, but even then it wouldn’t be easy to fit a long-term deal for Graham into their salary cap. It looks like Graham could possibly be headed for a franchise tag in 2014, assuming that they don’t start negotiations at some point later in the year.