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Saints' Jimmy Graham flagged twice for dunking over goalpost

Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Jimmy Graham's signature touchdown celebration is dunking the ball over the goalpost, but that is a penalty this year.

Apparently the Saints tight end doesn't care.

Graham scored twice in the first half of New Orleans' preseason game against the Titans on Friday in the Superdome and dunked the ball over the goalpost each time, according to ESPN.com's Mike Triplett. He was flagged 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct both times.

MORE: Calvin Johnson sits out of Lions' second preseason game

After the second infraction, Saints coach Sean Payton chased Graham down on the sideline and appeared upset, Triplett reports. The two reportedly exchanged words. Graham also dunked in the Saints' scrimmage two weeks ago with NFL officials.

Dunking over the goalpost became a penalty when the NFL ruled this offseason that the ball could not be used as a prop. It has been called "The Jimmy Graham rule" because he's knocked the goalposts sideways twice before.

Graham, a former college basketball player at Miami, caught the touchdowns on Friday from starter Luke McCown. Drew Brees sat the game out with an oblique strain.

In addition to the unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, Graham was also flagged for offensive pass interference and a false start.

The 27-year-old has caught 41 touchdown passes in four seasons with the Saints, including a league-high 16 last season.

- Chris Mascaro

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