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Old 01-25-2014   #1
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Default Saints, Jimmy Graham, franchise tag, and position battle

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.


Quote:
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).
http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/10...-franchise-tag
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