Jimmy Graham Holds Out
Saints General Manager, Mickey Loomis, stated that the team would use the franchise tag on Jimmy Graham if they have to. To put it as simple as possible, it means the long-term deal can’t be negotiated.
“I’m not keen on the franchise tag, that would be really unfortunate, but that is really all I have to say about that one,” -Jimmy Graham
The Saints window the sign Graham to a long-term contract must be done prior to March 3rd, or he will become a free agent on March 11th. As Loomis stated in so many words, there’s no way they’ll let Graham walk.
The franchise tag would give Graham roughly $6.6-$7M as a tight end. The tag figure is based on an average of the top five salaries at the given position, or 120% of the player’s previous salary, whichever is the greater amount. In Graham’s case, that’s the average.
However, although Graham would get handsomely rewarded, there’s a chance that he could sit out, especially when Jimmy believes that he should be paid like a wide receiver. While we won’t or can’t exactly argue that, he has a valid point. We’ve seen plenty of players hold out time and time again, and not so long ago, that included Drew Brees. He was prepared to holdout by not signing his franchise tag, and eventually received a huge compensation as a result.