After an acrimonious offseason, the Saints and Graham agreed on a four-year deal that is worth $40 million with about $21 million guaranteed, according to multiple reports. That makes Graham the highest-paid tight end in NFL history.
Does that shock anyone? This deal probably could have gotten done months ago.
The Saints placed the franchise tag on Graham and he wasn't happy about it. He felt he was a wide receiver (despite his Twitter tight end bio and all that) and the two sides fought this thing out in front of an arbitrator to decide what position he should be paid as.
But this is so NFL. The two sides — no matter the parties — act tough and puff their chests out and go into radio silence, and the public assumes that things always will stay icy between them.
Bismillah, no! These things (almost) always come down to money, and deadlines spur actions. So when the Saints and Graham knew that Tuesday was the last day this year they could come to a long-term agreement before heading into the season with Graham either playing on a franchise tender or holding out, it was no shock that the two sides found common ground in the middle.
We assumed $10 million per year was the bottom-deck level for Graham. You might think on the surface, then, that the Saints got a bargain here, but Graham is only 27 years old and could cash in with another big deal.
It also makes sense that the deal reportedly makes Graham the highest-paid tight end (yes, he's not a wide receiver) in the NFL. That was needed, one would think, to make this contract happen.
But the good news for Saints fans is that he's back and there to stay, we assume for a long time.
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- American Football
- Jimmy Graham
- New Orleans Saints