- Garafolo adds that Graham is unlikely to participate in the team’s spring activities.
The NFL confirmed that Graham has been franchise as a tight end, and not a receiver, so this situation seems destine for a fight that will ultimately be decided in an arbitration hearing later in the offseason.
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.
New Orleans elected to use the “non-exclusive” franchise tag on Graham, which allows NFL teams to make him offers as long as they’re willing to part with two first-round draft picks in the process.
While this remains an option, it seems unlikely that anyone would be willing to part with that kind of draft compensation while still offering him a contract that meets his expectations.
As for contract talks between the Saints and Graham, the overall expectation is that they will be tabled for the foreseeable future, or at least until this situation is resolved.
You can look forward to hearing a lot about Graham in the next few months.