Kristian: Saints will use Franchise tag on Graham if necessary
by Kristian Garic,posted Jan 21 2014 11:52AM
Saints front office, coaches, and scouts are in Mobile, Alabama this week looking at the top seniors in the Senior Bowl. Finding new talent is always a top priority for the Saints, but the biggest priority is clearly keeping the top talent already in their building.
Tight End Jimmy Graham is set to become an unrestricted free agent in March, and General Manager Mickey Loomis said the team hasn’t had any discussions with Jimmy Graham's agent “in the last few days, but we have some time.” Time is on the team's side at the moment; typically these deals don’t get done until the 11th hour.
Asked if he was concerned about eventually working out a deal with the big TE, Loomis responded “Look, I’m concerned about it like I’m concerned about any contract with an unrestricted free agent that we would like to have back.” In other words, you never know what can happen, but it’s certainly not time to fret.
Loomis says the organization views Graham purley as a Tight End. “That’s where we play him, in our view he’s a tight end. That’s what makes him valuable.” The position comes into question because of a loophole in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that stipulates a player can not be franchise tagged at TE if he lines up at WR for more than 51% of the offensive snaps.
So what about the possibility of using the franchise tag on Graham if the two sides can’t come to an agreement? “We’ll see... look, it’s way to early to start talking about that business.” However, Loomis did say if it came down to it, the club would use the franchise tag on Graham: “We’re gonna franchise him if that’s necessary. We’re a long ways from that. I don’t know that it’s worth discussing right now.”
The Saints are projected to be $17 million dollars over the 2014 salary cap of $126 million. When you’ve had a good team for period of time like we’ve had, obviously you have good players... you have to pay the going rate to keep them. It doesn’t leave us much room, but yet, we know how to navigate and manage that.” Loomis explained.
Price tag will be too high for an incomplete tight end. Yes his size poses problems but teams are figuring him out. He hates contact and can't block, not good traits for a tight end. Should look for upgrades at other positions to offset his production and let him go.
Like hell, keep him no matter what.
Shallow crossing routes...
Toughen him up and use him on some "pick" routes when we have to play some of these teams that like to hold. Would love to see him lay some poor CBs out.
Keep Graham and Loose the Squirrels
In the Patriots game, Aqib Talib was allowed to jump on Graham's back on every play, whether it was within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage, whether he had the ball, was getting the ball or even if he was a decoy. It resulted in Talib injuring Graham's foot. Try running a route with someone on your back every play for an entire game, the added weight could cause your foot or something else to fail. Before the Pat's game, no one had questioned Graham's toughness. The refs were at fault for his injury for not calling Talib for obvious roughing or PI. Jimmy Graham has played the entire season on a bad foot, and yet, was very productive. Any one suggesting that the Saints let him go because he is too soft needs to go play with the squirrels like Buddy D use to say. You think you know but you just don't know. Go ask Coach Mora.
Blake and graham
I saw Blake on tommy tucker it's cold outside. He is quite big and could step in for graham if he leaves the saints