Give credit where it’s due—The New Orleans Saints were one of the team smart enough to pass on Aaron Hernandez in the 2010 NFL draft, instead opting for Miami basketball star Jimmy Graham.
Now one of those names is facing a first-degree murder charge, his NFL career is potentially over, is allegedly linked to a double-murder in Boston from 2012 and another shooting that occurred in Florida back in 2007.
The other is arguably the best at his position on the field, active in charity off and is in line for a big pay day from his team.
We’re sure you can tell which is which.
While Hernandez sits behind bars awaiting trial without bail, the Saints sit in an iffy cap situation while an elite tight end needs a new deal with Graham entering his contract year.
Make no mistake, other than Rob Gronkowski, there’s not another tight end in the NFL that will be paid more than Graham. That’s a serous issue for the Saints.
Sure, New Orleans could slap Graham with the franchise tag next offseason. It would only delay the inevitable and it’s probably not the smartest move. If the team wanted to go that route, hitting him with a new deal that has a very front-loaded structure that comes close to tag money would be the smarter idea.
The Saints and Mikey Loomis have done the impossible before. There are presumably several pricey veterans coming off the book next year, but finding a way to balance the Graham deal and keep the rest of the positions stocked could be an issue.
New Orleans narrowly avoided the Hernandez issue by about around back in 2010 (can you imagine Bountygate and Hernandez so close? Yikes). Now the team has to make another smart move and find a way to pay the man known as Graham.
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