Jimmy Graham can call himself a wide receiver, but he’s about to get paid like a tight end.
Graham was fighting that he would get the franchise tag as a wide receiver, not a tight end, as the New Orleans Saints tagged him. Arbitrator Stephen Burbank ruled that on Wednesday, however, that Graham is a tight end, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported. Graham will make $7 million in 2014 after being franchised as a tight end, while he would have made over $12 million if Burbank ruled he’s a wide receiver.
Graham’s argument was that he lines up at wide receiver on 67 percent of snaps, while the Saints argued that Graham participates in tight end meetings, lines up where tight ends line up and listed himself as a tight end on his Twitter bio.
Graham still can appeal Burbank’s decision to a three-person panel, NFL Media’s Albert Breer pointed out on Twitter.
It’s unfortunate that tight ends make far less money than wide receivers if they have similar offensive production. Tight ends can be more valuable than wideouts because they contribute as blockers in the running game.