Jimmy Graham, Saints find common ground between tight end and wide receiver and agree to deal

Paying Jimmy Graham was a slam-dunk, no-brainer for the New Orleans Saints. (Brian Blanco / AP)

Even as he was appealing the decision of an arbiter decreeing him a tight end rather than a wide receiver, Jimmy Graham and the New Orleans Saints continued to work quietly on a big new contract and, on Tuesday morning, Graham tweeted that the two sides had agreed to terms.

The contract, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports, is for four years at $40 million, with about $21 million guaranteed.

Earlier this summer, Graham had appealed the decision of an arbiter that he was a tight end for franchise-tag purposes rather than a wide receiver, a position at which salaries are far higher. Andrew Brandt, MMQB.com’s analyst, figured that Graham would get “top wide-receiver money, just not [Larry Johnson/Calvin Johnson] money,” which is in the low-$40 million range.

What it all means is that, just as the position is evolving on the field, so is the perception of its worth.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.



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Barry Svrluga · July 15, 2014