The NFL’s window allowing teams to franchise or transition tag players opened up Monday, giving clubs two weeks to designate a player on the roster with the label.
For the Saints, there’s only one player that could possibly affect – tight end Jimmy Graham.
The two sides are in disagreement over how he should be paid.
New Orleans General Manager Mickey Loomis has said he’s firm in his stance that Graham is a modern tight end in today’s NFL. Graham’s camp, meanwhile, points to his production as well as his usage split wide in believing he should earn wide receiver money.
The difference in the tag, should negotiations get to that level, is more than $4 million.
Since 2010, only 14 players, including tight ends and receivers, have more receiving yards that Graham’s 3,863. Only two players have more than his 41 touchdowns. And only six players have played in more games than Graham’s 62.
Should it get to the point where the Saints officially tag Graham as a tight end, it’s believed that the player’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, will request an arbitrator to determine his ultimate position.
New Orleans last used the franchise tag on quarterback Drew Brees in 2012. That year, the two sides worked until the tag deadline before the Saints ultimately used it on March 3.
Brees didn’t sign his long-term contract with the Saints – then a record-breaking five-year, $100 million deal – until July 13, or 23 weeks after he was originally tagged.