Saints News

Saints 2014 Free Agent Rankings, Part 2

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#1 – Jimmy Graham, Tight End

Dec 29, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) reacts after a first down catch during the first half of a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Okay, you can’t say that you didn’t see this coming.

Jimmy Graham came out of the gate on fire for 2013. However, you could argue that Graham was not the same after suffering the foot injury against the Patriots in Week 6, and having to deal with plantar fasciitis the rest of the season. He had flashes of playing brilliantly, but down the stretch, especially in the playoffs, Graham wasn’t there as the dominant force he started out as. You can’t argue with his career best 16 touchdown receptions, as he put up very similar numbers to 2011.

2014 Outlook: Graham’s contract might have been hurt by his playoff production. Either way, Graham will be back for the Saints. The problem is going to be in whether the Saints can get his contract done before the start of Free Agency or not. IF the Saints can work out a long-term deal for Graham, it’s sure to eat up a bunch of money. However, if Graham gets the franchise tag, which is a huge reality, the two sides will argue on tight end tag versus wide receiver tag, which is a huge difference of $4.5M. Graham won’t hit the open market, but his deal may mean there’s a lot of players the Saints will lose along the way.