Interesting battle potentially ahead as TEs become more important.
Compared to all
receivers(WR/TE), Graham was 12th in targets, 13th in receptions, 15th in yards, 9th in 20+ yards, 12th in first downs, and 1st in TDs
(16) while only ranking 66th amongst all receivers and 19th among TEs in snaps due to mid-October foot injury.
If New Orleans uses its franchise tag on Graham, the move likely would trigger a groundbreaking battle over whether the pending free agent should be officially considered a tight end or a wide receiver.
Loomis, who has stressed that the March 3 franchise-tag deadline is more than a month away, also made it clear that the Saints consider Graham a tight end.
"Isn't that what we drafted him as? Isn't that what he made the Pro Bowl as?" Loomis said Tuesday. "That's what we see him as, a tight end. ... That's what makes him valuable."
The difference between the franchise-tag salary for a receiver and a tight end will be significant. Last year it was $10.5 million versus $6 million.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Graham lined up as a receiver on 67 percent of his snaps in 2013 (45 percent in the slot, 22 percent out wide, 33 percent as an in-line tight end).