"Dave Ramsey Show"
Text Us: 870870
Studio: (504)260.1870
A   A   A
 Follow 
Share

Posted: Friday, 25 July 2014 5:31PM

Saints TE Graham returns in form, and with humor



WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) Aside from the New Orleans Saints' fleur-de-lis symbol, star tight end Jimmy Graham never associated playing pro football with flowers.

That is, until this week, when he reported to training camp at The Greenbrier resort and found his room adorned in wallpaper heavy on a pink floral print.

The room choice for Graham was an apparent practical joke. Teammate Pierre Thomas captured Graham's reaction on video that was posted to social media, proclaiming, "They got you so good."

Graham can afford to have a sense of humor about it. After missing all of the Saints' offseason because of a protected contract holdout, Graham is finally back with the team, thanks to a four-year, $40 million deal struck between him and the club last week.

After his first practice on Friday, Graham, smiling, described his room as "a little bit more floral than I'm used to."

But Graham was pleased to be back among teammates after a well-publicized contract negotiation.

"These last three days have been awesome," Graham said. "I told the guys, `You don't know how much you miss it until you are gone for that amount of time and knowing everyone else is together.'

"I missed the locker rooms. I missed the coaches. I missed the guys. Today was a special day for me."

Graham's deal makes him the highest-paid tight end in the NFL, topping the $9 million per season earned by New England's Rob Gronkowski.

Quarterback Drew Brees didn't seem to think Graham's holdout had been too detrimental to his form on the field.

"Jimmy is Jimmy," Brees said. "Ran the best time in conditioning tests yesterday, so there's no doubt he's in shape and ready to roll."

Much of that can be attributed to Graham's support system in his offseason home of Miami, including former Saints linebacker and unsigned free agent Jonathan Vilma, a fellow former Miami Hurricane.

"When I'm down there in Miami ... that's all we do is work," Graham said. "We took on this year just like we did the lockout year (2011). For me, that's how I saw it. I knew that whenever my number was called or whenever something was figured out, that I could just show up and prove myself."

That has not been a problem during his first four NFL seasons. Graham has become an integral part of the Saints' high-powered offense, with 301 career receptions for 3,863 yards and 41 touchdowns.

Saints coach Sean Payton was impressed by the maturity with which Graham handled the situation.

"We have seen a guy come in here young and all of a sudden in a short period of time accomplish a lot of great things, and still has a lot of things I'm sure he wants to be able to accomplish," Payton said.

Graham, a former third-round pick who signed his rookie deal with little fanfare, called his first major contract negotiation "a tough process."

"It really is," Graham said. "You don't really get into football to do things like that. You never see the business side of it. You never experience litigation and things like that. So for me it was an eye-opener. But in the same respect, I'm just happy that all that mess is over and that I can just focus on this team and this season."

Filed Under :  
Topics : Sports
Social :
Locations : MiamiNew EnglandWest Virginia
People : Drew BreesJimmy GrahamJonathan VilmaPierre ThomasRob GronkowskiSean Payton
A   A   A
 Follow 
Share
Deke's Blog
Deke: Deuce loves Saints running back core
The all-time leading rusher in the history of the New Orleans Saints dropped by for a chat on SportsTalk with Bobby Hebert and yours truly, Deke Bellavia. The great Deuce McAllister gave his take on the Saints off-season, being a one thousand yard...
Read More
Keenan Lewis: "This is one of the best Saints groups"
Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis has become one of the Saints top players since arriving prior to the 2013 season. He now enters his seventh season in the National Football League and Lewis is excited about what he sees. "I think this is the best group...
Read More
Mainieri: "It's a whole new season now"
Although his Tigers did not reach their goal of winning the SEC Tournament their third straight year, Coach Paul Mainieri likes where his LSU Tigers are entering the post season. "I like the way our team competed. I'm disappointed that we lost. But I...
Read More
Saints sign OL Mike McGlynn
The New Orleans Saints signed veteran Offensive Lineman Mike McGlynn Wednesday. McGlynn played seven seasons in the NFL. Last season McGlynn was with the Kansas City Chiefs. In his career the veteran lineman started in 71 games including 13 games...
Read More
Drew Brees: Young players have opportunity to contribute right away
Saints Quarterback Drew Brees joined Bobby Hebert and Deke Bellavia on SportsTalk. Drew talked first about his belief in New Orleans and our region reflected in the big investment he and his wife Brittany just made by partnering with a local company,...
Read More
Hokie's Blog
Bobby's Blog
Kristian's Blog
Kristian: Can LSU make the run to Omaha?
After a dissapointing early exit from the SEC baseball tournament, the Tigers still impressed enough during the regular season to earn the No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA baseball tournament. Baton Rouge will host a regional round of the tournament for...
Read More
Saints CB Lewis: "Everyone is holding themselves accountable"
The Saints have a logjam at cornerback heading into OTAs, mini-camp, and training camp. Keenan Lewis has been the most consistant factor in the secondary during his two seasons with the team, and he's also the longest tenured player at corner. He's...
Read More
Saints release K Shayne Graham
A day after Shayne Graham told reporters he was "not worried about competition" at the kicker postion with two other players on the roster, the Saints announced Tuesday that they have released the veteran kicker. Now, Dustin Hopkins and Zach Hocker will...
Read More
Saints OT Strief: "Andrus Peat is taking my job eventually"
When the Saints selected offensive tackle Zach Strief in the seventh round back in 2006, he was a longshot to make the roster, but almost 10 years later, he's held down the starting right tackle position for nearly half of his tenure in the same role...
Read More
Kristian: Saints rookies impress at mini-camp
The Saints coaches had their first peek at the draft haul this weekend in rookie mini camp, and so far the draft looks like it could have some solid early returns. "I would say this camp is further along than some of the rookie camps we've had in the...
Read More
NFL Draft

Team News
Saints Schedule
Team Leaders
Division Standings
NFC Standings
ADVERTISEMENT

Contests

FACEBOOK

1 Thing

Contact Us

WWL iPhone App

Powered By InterTech Media, LLC™