The NFL free agent discussions are in full swing and few have drawn more attention than that of Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints. A case could easily be made for Graham to be considered the best Tight End in the NFL. Which means in dollar terms that Jimmy Graham could be looking ata payday of $5 to $6 million.
Graham however, begs to differ. His agent is expected to argue that Jimmy Graham is actually a wide receiver and thus entitled to a payday of $10 million plus. So obviously there’s going to be some acrimony here.
It’s one of the oddities the NFL will have to deal with. the traditional Tight End position is vanishing. That era when your Tight End was an extra blocker and caught an occasional pass is gone now. These guys are being used heavily in the passing game and will be for the foreseeable future. The question is: Does the evolution in Tight End usage mean a new wave of pay scale?
I think the lawyers are going to hash this one out. No doubt Graham has been signed as a Tight End, billed as a Tight End, and has gone into the record books as a Tight End. The position itself has changed, not the label. For the New Orleans Saints it boild down to whether or not Jimmy Graham is worth $10 million. In my mind, that’s where the argument begins. Graham put up big numbers but he is by no means unstoppable. The Patriots shut him down. So did the Seahawks. To me, a $10 million guy is one who steps up against quality opponents and refuses to be held in check. So far, Graham has excelled against average opponents but hasn’t shown me the unstoppable quality yet. I’m also thinking that a pair of #1 picks, if New Orleans can’t sign him for something reasonable, might not be a bad deal. It’s at least worth considering.