Jimmy Graham Ruled A Tight End According To NFL Arbitrator
Jimmy Graham has officially been deemed a tight end, this according to a ruling made Wednesday by NFL arbitrator Stephen Burbank.
A grievance was filed by the NFL Players Association on behalf of Graham back in May claiming that he deserved to be deemed a wide receiver under the franchise tag due to the fact that he saw more time split out wide and in the slot than on the line of scrimmage like most traditional tight ends.
Being placed under the franchise tag as a tight end instead of a receiver is about a $4 million dollar difference in guaranteed money—which is quite significant, considering Grahams contributions to the New Orleans Saints offense.
Some say his Twitter bio, in which Graham proudly refers to himself as “New Orleans Saints Tight End #80″ played an instrumental part in the New Orleans Saints case because—well, he pretty much claims to be a tight end.
In Graham’s defense, while he “technically” may be a tight end, he is definitely one of the groundbreaking “hybrid” offensive players in the league that deserves to be compensated more like a wide receiver and less like a tight end.
Even though the outcome wasn’t in his favor, this will definitely start a conversation that needs to be had in all fairness for players like Graham who aren’t currently defined by one official position in the NFL.
This will in no doubt affect talks for a new contract that Graham will have to reach an agreement on with the Saints before the July 15 deadline, or play out next season under the $7 million franchise tag as a tight end.
As bad as this situation may seem, NFL analysts fully expect Graham to remain with the New Orleans Saints whether a deal is done in the next few weeks or in the 2015 offseason.
So far there has been no official word from Jimmy Graham.
Do you think this will affect how hard he plays for the team in the upcoming season?