This means that an interested team could sign Graham to a contract at the cost of two first-round picks, but the Saints will be given an opportunity to match.
It remains to be seen whether or not the league will determine that Graham should qualify as either a receiver or a tight end, which is a difference of $5.286 million based on the official franchise tag numbers released on Friday.
Two first-round picks is still a huge price to pay, even for arguably the games best tight end. After all, they would still have to sign him to a huge contract and Graham’s representatives would have more leverage in the negotiations based on the fact that they would have to give up a large amount of draft compensation for him.
Graham, 27, managed to put together a very good season, despite the fact that he was hampered with a foot injury for a large stretch. He totaled 86 receptions for 1,215 yards receiving and 16 touchdowns.