However, the NFL Players Association would like him to be recognized as a wide receiver.
That's because it comes with a $5 million pay bump with the franchise tag. The Saints have tagged Graham as a tight end, garnering him $7 million for one year. If he were to be classified as a WR, it would give him $12.3M for one year.
That's a significant difference and if anyone deserves it, it's definitely Graham. He has been a huge part of the Saints offense for years, and he is one of the best pass catchers in the NFL, regardless of position.
The issue centers around where he lines up on the field. The NFLPA contends that more often than not, he lines up outside or in the slot, like a wide receiver. The Saints are saying that it doesn't matter, and that part of a tight end's role is to line up like a receiver sometimes and have a role in the receiving game.
Saints GM Mickey Loomis says that all players have to be versatile, and that Graham has always been a tight end:
This should be an interesting discussion, and it could change the way tight ends are viewed forever in the NFL. This could be a landmark decision. We'll see how it plays out.