wants to be paid like a wide receiver, and he might have a case. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
When the New Orleans Saints slapped Jimmy Graham with the franchise tag, they gave him the tight end designation, his listed position. However, it seemed like it was only a matter of time until Graham would fight that designation in order to get the extra $5 million that he would have received had he been tagged as a wide receiver.
Today is the day that the fight begins.
According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today, the NFLPA has filed a grievance against the Saints on behalf of Graham.
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The tight end tag is worth $7.035 million, while the one-year franchise tender for a receiver is worth $12.312 million. With Graham spending so much time in the Saints offense away from the line of scrimmage, flexed out to the slot, he has a compelling case for receiving the receiver salary.
From Article 10, Section 2(a)(i) of the NFL's collective bargaining agreement:
"The Nonexclusive Franchise Tender shall be a one year NFL Player Contract for (A) the average of the five largest Prior Year Salaries for players at the position (within the categories set forth in Section 7(a) below) at which the Franchise Player participated in the most plays during the prior League Year …"
There is currently no date set for Graham's grievance hearing.
When Terrell Suggs fought the Baltimore Ravens franchise tender back in 2008 -- he wanted to be paid as a defensive end, not linebacker -- the case was resolved with a settlement.
Graham will hope for the same resolution.
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