Doug Sunseri: Graham will be content to get fat with Saints
Jimmy Graham will sign a long-term deal before July 15. Don't sweat it. There may be some posturing by the Graham camp, but ultimately he will accept a deal that is close to what's on the table now.
Jimmy Graham took a shot at trying to increase the floor of his yearly salary by $5.3 million. No harm in trying. His legal team put up a good fight. However, the arbitrator accepted coach Payton's testimony that the tight end position has evolved whereby a TE may split up to 4 yards from the tackle. Some longtime football fans may remember the day when quarterbacks took 100% percent of the snaps under center. Part of the evolution of football.
Now, the arbitrator established the parameters. Tell the common folk a loss in arbitration consists of a floor of a $7 million per year in salary.
So why is Graham going to sign a long-term deal within the next 10 days? The simple answer is $25 to $30 million in guaranteed money. If Jimmy Graham plays for $7 million under the franchise tag and is injured or develops a sudden case of the alligator arms over the middle, he missed out on $20 million dollars. In the legal profession, there is a saying "pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered." Jimmy Graham will be content getting fat.
So, as you are sweating in this 4th of July weekend, do not sweat the fact that Jimmy Graham will sign a long-term deal with the Saints within 10 days. Happy 4th, Saints fans. God bless America.