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Wednesday, July 16, 2014


New Orleans Saints All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham reached a 4 year/$40 million ($21 million guaranteed) agreement with the team Tuesday morning. The announcement came just hours before the 3:00 p.m. C.D.T. deadline for Franchise tagged players to either reach a long term agreement with their team, agree to the franchise tender salary for their positions, or elect not to play in the upcoming NFL season. Graham's franchise tender was $7 million, all of which would have counted against the Saints' 2014 salary cap had Graham played under those terms.

This worked out well for the Saints in the short run. They have their big playmaker at a reasonable salary that will not blow up their 2014 salary cap. Jimmy Graham (86 rec., 1,215 yds., 16 TDs in 2013) is taking a calculated risk on himself, a well calculated risk.

This four-year contract is going to either expire at a point of his career - 8 years in - when teams will either overbid for his services or the Saints, perhaps a year prior to expiration, will be put into a position in which they have to overpay because they need to restructure his contract. Either way, Graham comes out on top. This second career windfall would be predicated on Graham remaining healthy and productive, at a level near the top of NFL tight ends.

Thanks to the No Fun League, Saints fans won't be treated to all of Graham's talents next year.
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