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,’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.