Most players would hate to be slapped with the franchise tag in the offseason, because it limits their earnings and, more importantly, prevents them from having the security of a long-term deal. All you need to do is look at the season-ending injuries that happened to Henry Melton and Anthony Spencer this past season to see just how detrimental the franchise tag can be when a player does get injured. There are still some players, like Jay Cutler and Greg Hardy, who have stated that they would be fine with the franchise tag. New Orleans Saints superstar tight end Jimmy Graham, on the other hand, unsurprisingly isn’t one of them.
If tagged, Graham would be franchised as a tight end instead of a wide receiver, and that’s a significant difference. As a wide receiver, Graham would make much more money on his franchise tender, since he would only be set to make $6 million in 2014 if franchised as a tight end. Saints GM Mickey Loomis has already stated that he will franchise Graham if the two sides can’t come to a long-term deal, and that’s definitely a huge amount of leverage for the Saints. See, Graham can’t “dog it” under his franchise tender either, since he would have no leverage.
At this point, there is just about no chance of Graham walking in free agency, since it sounds like the Saints are going to do whatever it takes to keep him. I mean, why else would Loomis say that he is going to tag Graham if no deal is reached?
Graham said of the possibility of being tagged, via the NFL Network, “I’m not keen on the franchise tag, that would be really unfortunate, but that is really all I have to say about that one.”
Yikes. It’s all the more reason for Jimmy Graham to come to terms with a favorable deal, since he would really get jobbed if he is franchised; he’s worth more than $6 million, even if there are a few people who think the Saints should let him leave. Nobody should be surprised that Graham is unhappy about the prospect of being tagged, but it’s notable that Graham displays that sour of a tone.