Tuesday July 1st, 2014

An arbitrator is expected to announce his ruling Thursday on New Orleans Saints star Jimmy Graham's franchise-tag grievance, according to a report from Adam Schefter and Mike Triplett of ESPN.com.

The Saints placed the franchise tag on Graham this offseason, and he is challenging his designation as a tight end. Graham wants to be declared a wide receiver, saying he lined up at that position two-thirds of the time last season, even though the team drafted him as a tight end.

Graham will make $7.05 million if he loses the case. If designated a wide receiver, he will make $12.13 million this season.

MORE NFL COVERAGE: The All-22: How Brandin Cooks could redefine New Orleans' offense | Podcast: Breaking down the offseason in the NFC South

The team and Graham have until July 15 to come to agreement on a long-term deal, or Graham can play under the franchise tag. Graham caught 86 passes for 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns this past season, earning first-team All-Pro honors as a tight end.

More from ESPN.com:

Saints coach Sean Payton was among those testifying on the NFL's behalf, a source confirmed.

According to Pro Football Talk, Saints general manager Mickey Loomis and former Indianapolis Colts general manager Bill Polian also testified in support of the position that Graham should be considered a tight end, while former NFL coach Butch Davis and former Saints receiver Lance Moore testified in support of the position that Graham should be considered a wide receiver.

~Scooby Axson

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