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The Dreaded Franchise Tag

by admin on Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Jimmy GrahamTo be a ‘Franchise Player’!  Sounds great, doesn’t it? Why then don’t most NFL players aspire to be ‘Franchise Players’? As it works out, it’s not such a good deal by the player as it leaves the team holding all the high cards. The tag binds a player to a team for a period of one year if all conditions are met.

Some see it as an attempt to hold on to a top flight player whose absence would negatively affect the teams overall performance. Others see it as yet another attempt by Roger Goodell to rule the world. But we can’t blame this one on Roger.  The Franchise Tag got its start back in 1996 under Paul Tagliabue.

The Saint’s top receiver Jimmy Graham is one outstanding player that is being talked about a lot lately as being a prime candidate for the franchise tag. But Jimmy is not too happy about it. “I’m not too keen on the franchise tag. That would be really unfortunate, but that’s really all I have to say about that.”

Graham will be a free agent at the end of next season and Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis, and most of the state of Louisiana, would very much like to keep him around the ‘Big Easy’. The Saint’s front office has flatly stated that the franchise would be used if necessary to keep Graham in New Orleans but now it has been knocked around in the press so much as to have become an issue in need of resolution.

But for the Saints and Jimmy Graham there should not be much of a problem.  All that is necessary is that they negotiate a new, long term, contract which appears to be what both sides want in the first place. The biggest sticking point will be the salary. Most fans, especially Saints fans, feel that Graham is a quality player who should be making way more money than he is now. Somewhere in the $10 Million range sounds appropriate.

Graham was drafted as a tight end but played over half of the plays on offense as a wide receiver whose pay scale is roughly $4.5 Million more than a tight end. Makes you wonder who figured that out, doesn’t it?  Where will they place Jimmy Graham on that scale considering that he has scored 41 touchdowns for the Saints since being drafted out of Miami in 2010?

Don’t worry too much about it Who ‘Dats!

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