Jimmy Graham and Saints agree to record contract

Jimmy Graham
Tight end Jimmy Graham has agreed to a new contract with the New Orleans Saints.
(Chris Graythen / Getty Images)

Jimmy Graham is a tight end, not a wide receiver.

But now he’s a very well-paid tight end. And that was what the argument was really about in the first place.

The New Orleans Saints confirmed Tuesday that they have reached a multi-year contract with Graham. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the deal is worth $40 million over four years, with at least $20 million guaranteed.

That would make him the highest-paid tight end in NFL history.


It’s a happy ending in a situation that had the potential to get pretty ugly. After the Saints placed the franchise tag on their two-time Pro Bowler, the NFL Players Assn. filed a grievance saying that since Graham was often used as a wide receiver he ought to be paid like one.

But an arbitrator ruled earlier this month that the Saints were correct in giving Graham the tight-end tag worth about $7 million, or $5 million less than that of a wide receiver.

Graham appeared to be into a holdout for a new deal after skipping all of the team’s voluntary and mandatory practices and workouts this off-season. But everything seems to be fine now that the team appears to have met him more than halfway in their salary dispute.

“It’s official I’m bleeding black and gold this morning! Thank you WhoDatNation for all the support," Graham announced Tuesday morning on Twitter.


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