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hjerry

Nflpa Files Grievance On Behalf Of Jimmy Graham

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The NFLPA has filed a grievance against the Saints on behalf of franchise player Jimmy Graham.

With long-term talks stalled, this was inevitable. The Saints have tagged Graham as a tight end, which would pay him $7.035 million on a one-year deal. The NFLPA is arguing that he should be tagged as a wide receiver, which would net him $12.312 million. Graham's main argument stems from the fact that he lined up in the slot or split wide on 67 percent of his snaps last season, while the Saints will argue that tight ends routinely line up all over the formation in today's NFL. No matter which way the three-member appeals panel rules, Graham will be back with the Saints this season.

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I don't understand how he is definitely a saint next year. What if the extra money takes them over the cap? Can they not choose to let him go?

I appreciate that they wouldn't, but surely he isn't DEFINITELY a saint?

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As long as he's a Saint this year is all that matters. As for next year, the Saints will cross that bridge when the time comes. I don't see the Saints kissing his bum to keep him like the Falcons did with Tony G

I don't understand how he is definitely a saint next year. What if the extra money takes them over the cap? Can they not choose to let him go?

I appreciate that they wouldn't, but surely he isn't DEFINITELY a saint?

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As long as he's a Saint this year is all that matters. As for next year, the Saints will cross that bridge when the time comes. I don't see the Saints kissing his bum to keep him like the Falcons did with Tony G

Guarantee you they will. Outside of Brees, Graham is by far the most important. And once Brees Retires you won't be able to get by lining up late round scrubs at WR. Graham will be even more important then.

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As long as he's a Saint this year is all that matters. As for next year, the Saints will cross that bridge when the time comes. I don't see the Saints kissing his bum to keep him like the Falcons did with Tony G

Yeah, that Graham, I mean, what a jerk, that guy don't deserve sh*t! rolleyes.gif

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Seems to me someone is still butthurt over the Jairus "they don't have money" Byrd signing. If the Saints want him he'll be signed, if they don't he'll receive his departing gift. What I can tell you is they want kiss his bum like you clowns did with Tony G that's for sure

I'm going to laugh my *** off if Graham holds out a full season and the Saints have no money to sign him because they blew their load on Jarius Byrd.

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Saint can easily find a few more million for Graham- re-structure their guards. More likely, this forces them to make a long term deal with Graham, which would save them cap space right now.

Good bet the arbitration splits the difference-somebody did this a few years ago- Suggs, I think, wanted to be paid as a DE rather than a LB- they ended up giving him a hybrid designation with a salary that was halfway between the two.

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Seems to me someone is still butthurt over the Jairus "they don't have money" Byrd signing. If the Saints want him he'll be signed, if they don't he'll receive his departing gift. What I can tell you is they want kiss his bum like you clowns did with Tony G that's for sure

oh by all means please do cut Graham, knowing him he will sign within the division for a discount just to kick your *** twice a year :)

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Saint can easily find a few more million for Graham- re-structure their guards. More likely, this forces them to make a long term deal with Graham, which would save them cap space right now.

Good bet the arbitration splits the difference-somebody did this a few years ago- Suggs, I think, wanted to be paid as a DE rather than a LB- they ended up giving him a hybrid designation with a salary that was halfway between the two.

I don't know how easy it would be but they'd be able to do it. I agree though it would give Graham a bit more leverage in negotiations.

I don't think the arbitrator has that authority it would have to be something both sides, Saints/Graham, would have to resolve on their own. Perhaps the arbitration pushes them in that directions though and you're right Suggs and the Skins did something similar.

Graham has the most to lose here though. If he looses arbitration he could be playing the next two seasons under the TE tag and for a guy that will be half a season away from 30 at that point that's not an ideal situation.

Chitown2ATL_Falcon likes this

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Why cut him when we could possibly get something for him ie Darren Sproles. In a round a bout way are you conceding he has been kicking the Falcons butt twice a yeast?

oh by all means please do cut Graham, knowing him he will sign within the division for a discount just to kick your *** twice a year :)

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Why cut him when we could possibly get something for him ie Darren Sproles. In a round a bout way are you conceding he has been kicking the Falcons butt twice a yeast?

don't you have your own boards to go home to and talk draft or something?

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This is such a non-story. To be certain, it will cause conversation and speculation among Saints fans and rivals, alike. But for Graham and the team, this is sausage making. Graham and the Saints will agree to a long-term deal. You can spend time hoping, praying, wishing that this spins out of control. But we all know that a deal will get done. Of course, the NFLPA filed a grievance. It is not just about Graham but about every player in the league. And the NFLPA's goal is to maximize the earning potential of the players they represent.

Sean Payton stated earlier this offseason that he did not agree with the system by which the franchise tag is applied, calling it "outdated." Yet, the Saints have to operate by the rules of the system. Keep in mind, when they franchised Graham, they did not place a specific designation on him. Instead, they allowed the NFL's management council to determine what the tag value should be based on the position the league deemed Graham. The NFL's management council designated him a TE.

The Saints have expected a grievance to be filed. The NFLPA, as it is accustomed to doing, filed it to coincide with the draft this week so that the topic gets as much attention and press as possible. The grievance is filed against the league, not the Saints. Mickey Loomis has maintained all along the deal will get done. His strategy in the past has been to wait to the last stretch to do it as he believes both the agent and the team are more apt to get a deal done the closer you get to the deadline. Both he and Sean Payton have liken the Graham situation to that of Drew Brees. So, again, you can get excited about this grievance or you can shrug your shoulders. I can tell the latter is more practical.

Finally, Graham already counts $7.05 million against the cap. The team has just under $4 million in cap space so if the NFLPA were to win its grievance on behalf of Graham, the Saints would not have the $12.03 million it would cost to franchise Graham. That said, you can almost expect that they would restructure a few deals, namely Lofton and Hawthorne. But what I suspect will happen is that we won't get to that point as I think a deal will either be agreed to prior to the grievance hearing or immediately thereafter. Bear in mind, the Saints have already offered Graham a deal exceeding the $9 million per season Gronkowski receives. So it is not as if they expect to pay him $7 million a season. I expect a deal in the range of $11 million per season. And the great thing for the Saints is that once a deal is agreed to they are likely to save money under the cap since I am quite sure that Mickey and Khai Harley (our cap guy) will structure the deal in such a way as to lower the $7.05 million Graham was already counting against the cap. See Byrd deal for example.

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Geez, there's a $5 million difference in WR and TE? I don't blame him. Get your money.

I totally agree. For Graham, he should try to milk as much money out of the team as possible. I do not understand why fans get so worried about what players do to earn as much money as they can. Any of us, within our own professions, will push for the highest compensation possible. Sometimes, we take fandom too far and act as if we ought to have some say in how contracts are doled out. So I am with you--Graham, get your money!

Saint can easily find a few more million for Graham- re-structure their guards. More likely, this forces them to make a long term deal with Graham, which would save them cap space right now.

Good bet the arbitration splits the difference-somebody did this a few years ago- Suggs, I think, wanted to be paid as a DE rather than a LB- they ended up giving him a hybrid designation with a salary that was halfway between the two.

Yes and yes. They were going to agree to a deal all along. I think this grievance speeds up the process so that the target date will no longer be July 15th but whatever date on which the grievance hearing will be set. And you are right, Suggs tried to do this a few years ago. The same happened with Jermichael Finley. Most NFL insiders suspect that this will speed up a deal as no one wants to see an arbitrator decide these matters. Yet, when I think about what Sean Payton said about the franchise tag system being outdated, it almost makes me wonder if the team is privately hoping for a grievance arbitrator to decide it. Payton's contention, if I am reading his comments right, is that the tag should not be position-specific. So, why not let an arbitrator decide the matter. I liken it to when the Obama administration did not agree with "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" but still had to obey the law as long as it was on the books.

Aren't they up against the cap with the TE tag?

What do they do if they have to pay an extra 5?

Well, the Saints currently have just under $4 million available under the cap. Graham already counts $7.05 million. If he wins the grievance, they essentially have to find an extra million dollars or so until a long-term deal is reached at which point his 2014 cap charge is likely to drop astronomically. But it'll be interesting to see if we ever get to that point. My suspicion is that the Saints are willing to let an arbitrator decide it but that the league might put pressure on the team to get the deal done for the sake of other owners reluctant to revising the franchise tag system at this time.

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