The Saints used the non-exclusive franchise tag on Graham, which means NFL teams can negotiate a long-term contract with him as long as they are prepared to part with two first-round picks in the event that the Saints elect now to match the offer.
According to Freeman, the consensus belief is that interested teams are selecting in the bottom half of this year’s draft.
Freeman mentions that the Seahawks, Patriots and Packers could be options while adding that the Ravens could be a “sleeper candidate.”
However, a Packers official mentioned that the idea of them parting with draft picks for Graham was “dumb beyond dumb…won’t happen.”
Based on the Packers conservative approach towards overpaying for free agents while focusing primarily on the draft, it’s not surprising to hear that they don’t see this as a realistic option.
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.
Talks between the Saints and Graham are expected to be tabled until the situation regarding whether he should be considered a tight end or a receive is settled.
Graham 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.