New Orleans Saints star tight end Jimmy Graham picked up two touchdown receptions in Friday’s preseason game against the Tennessee Titans, but he also picked up two of the team’s whopping 22 total penalties on those two TDs. This offseason, the league banned the dunk celebrations, which were pretty common around the league but were mostly used by Graham, who crossed the end zone a career-high 16 times last season (one TD per game on average). Graham’s two 15-yard, unsportsman-like penalties unsurprisingly drew the ire of head coach Sean Payton, who argued with his star TE over the dunks.
Graham’s protest over the league’s rule will end, though, as the New Orleans Times-Picayune’s Larry Holder reports that Payton stated he met with Graham over the illegal celebrations, adding that he’s the locked-up TE’s “biggest fan”. Payton doesn’t believe the dunking will continue to be a problem, so we shouldn’t anticipate any yards docked against the Saints for the remainder of the preseason (let alone the regular season) due to Graham’s celebration.
The No Fun League was always going to win this battle, as Graham’s decision to keep on dunking would have really burned his squad had he continued it into the regular season. That, of course, was never going to happen anyway, and he should be a beast in his first season in the long-term pact he signed with the Saints this offseason. Assuming he continues to have good health, double-digit touchdowns is essentially a lock.