Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, citing a league source, reports that the “current expectation” is that the Saints and TE Jimmy Graham will a long-term contract in place before the April 22 deadline to file a grievance.
The Saints used their franchise tag on Graham back in February, but unless the two sides are able to reach an agreement, the overall expectation is that Graham will file a grievance and contend that he should qualify as a receiver based on where he lined up in previous years.
The difference between the receiver ($12.321 million) and the tight end ($7.035 million) designation is quite considerable with Graham having a lot to gain in this situation.
Graham, 27, is believed to be seeking “at least twice as much” as the five-year, $32 million contract the Ravens they signed TE Dennis Pitta to last week.
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.