Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
By SI Wire
July 15, 2014

New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham reached an agreement in principle on a long-term deal, the team announced Tuesday.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but ESPN.com's Adam Schefter reports that Graham will receive a four-year, $40 million deal that includes $21 million guaranteed.

According to Pro Football Talk, Graham will receive $12 million to sign, to go with $1 million base salary for 2014. He is due to make $8 million next season.

Graham and the team had until 4 p.m. to reach a long-term deal after the team placed the franchise tag on him this offseason.  

On Monday, it was reported that Graham would be appealing a ruling that he could be franchise tagged as a tight end. Earlier this month, arbitrator Stephen Burbank ruled that Graham was a tight end, not a wide receiver as Graham had claimed. 

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The franchise tag for a tight end this season comes with a salary of $7.035 million. Wide receivers who received the franchise tag would make $12.312 million this year.

Graham caught 86 passes for 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns last season for the Saints, earning first-team All-Pro honors. Graham has caught 301 passes for 3,863 yards and 41 touchdowns in four NFL seasons.

​- Scooby Axson

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