NFL Players Association files grievance on behalf of Saints tight end Jimmy Graham

TE or WR: The NFLPA has filed on a grievance on behalf of Jimmy Graham

5/8/14 in NFL   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

Dec 29, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) celebrates catching a pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY SportsJimmy Graham is a tight end, when it comes to his Pro Bowl selection, fantasy football lineup spot, draft information, and every other piece of information you'll find anywhere.

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:
 
"Isn't that what we drafted him as? Isn't that what he made the Pro Bowl as? That's what we see him as - a tight end. The tight end has always been part of the passing game. He's part of the running game. So he's part of both. So are receivers. So are running backs."

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.
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5/9/14   |   kobe_lova   |   61259 respect

He's a TE and this insistence bugs me a little. Not a lot. But a little.