New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis has already said he plans on using the franchise tag on tight end Jimmy Graham if the two sides are unable to settle on a long-term contract, but the player in question isn’t too pleased about it.
“That’s real unfortunate,” Graham said after Friday’s Pro Bowl practice, via NFL.com.
Graham said he knows it’s up to the team if it wans to use the franchise tag on him, but the free agent would rather not play on the one-year deal. The contention comes over whether Graham would be franchised as a wide receiver or a tight end, with Loomis contending that the Saints consider Graham the latter, according to ESPN.
“Isn’t that what we drafted him as? Isn’t that what he made the Pro Bowl as?” Loomis said. “That’s what we see him as, a tight end. … That’s what makes him valuable.”
The difference in franchise tag salary between a wide receiver and a tight end is close to $4 million.
According to ESPN stats and info, Graham lined up as a receiver on 67 percent of his snaps in 2013. During his four-year career with the Saints, Graham has 301 receptions for 3,863 yards and 41 touchdowns.