Jimmy Graham may not have gone into his contract negotiaions with the New Orleans Saints in as strong a position as he would have liked, but I think he’ll still be able to put food on the table. According to Adam Schefter, Graham and the Saints agreed to a four-year, $41 million deal on Tuesday that includes $21 million guaranteed.
That contract would make Graham the highest-paid tight end in the league. Assuming the numbers are accurate, there are now only four wide receivers in the NFL who make more than Graham on an annual basis.
An arbitrator recently ruled that Graham is considered a tight end for franchise tag purposes, but he is not going to play under the franchise tag this season anyway. Graham would have made roughly $7 million as a tight end this season with the franchise tag and just over $12 million as a wide receiver, so it appears he and the Saints have found a happy medium.
Perhaps more importantly, Graham is just 27. Should he remain healthy over the next four years, he will be able to ink another big contract at age 31. The situation seems like a win for all parties involved.
It's official I'm bleeding black and gold this morning! Thank you WhoDatNation for all the support.
— Jimmy Graham (@TheJimmyGraham) July 15, 2014