Jimmy Graham signs 4 year, $40 million deal with New Orleans Saints
By Ian Palmer
In NFL betting news, the New Orleans Saints announced on July 15 that they have come to an agreement with tight end Jimmy Graham on a long-term contract. Media reports claim that Graham will become the best-ever paid tight end in NFL history with his contract extension. Graham confirmed his new deal with New Orleans via messages on his Twitter account. The extension is believed to be worth approximately $40 million for the next four seasons with a minimum of $21 million being guaranteed.
Oddly, the Saints and Graham have been bickering over the past several weeks as to whether the player should be considered a tight end or a wide receiver. Graham claimed he should be regarded as a wide receiver. However, the club wanted him to be classified as a tight end since they typically make less money than wide receivers. The club won that argument via a system arbitration decision.
That spat has been long forgotten now though since the organization and the 27-year-old Graham put it behind them when working out the details of his new deal. The team and player had until July 17 to wrap up a deal since the league NFL has a deadline for franchise players to agree to long-term contracts. Graham was drafted by the Saints back in the third round of the 2010 Draft from the University of Miami and has been with the team ever since. He’ll be eligible to test the free-agency waters when his new deal runs out in four year’s time.
Graham caught 86 passes last season for a total of 1,215 yards and also led the NFL with 16 touchdowns even though he was hampered for most of the season with a foot injury. Graham and the Saints would probably have come to terms earlier in the offseason if it wasn’t for the squabble over his position. Graham referred to himself as a tight end on his Twitter account and this was taken into consideration by the arbitrator. As with most pro-sports contract negotiations though, the dispute was more or less over nothing else but money.
With the NFL’s signing deadline quickly approaching it motivated both the club and Graham to get a contract signed before it was too late. If Graham didn’t sign on the dotted line before the deadline he would have had the option of holding out or playing the season on a franchise tender. Both sides may assume they got the better of the deal, but with Graham being just 27 years old he could cash in with a bigger contract once this one expires. For the moment though, it looks like the Saints and Graham are happy with the fact he’ll be staying in New Orleans for at least four more years.