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|As expected, Graham enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2011, catching 99 passes for 1,310 yards and 11 touchdowns. The scary part is that his production last year might just be the tip of the iceberg given his relative inexperience as a football player. Graham emerged as quarterback Drew Brees’ preferred option in the passing game, finishing the year 149 targets, good enough for 6th in the league. Graham has solid hands and enough speed to get deep as well as excellent ability to adjust to passes, making him a great option in the red zone. While Rob Gronkowski was clearly a fantasy beast in 2011, there is a strong argument that Graham has more upside than the Patriots tight end. While Gronkowski will almost surely be the first tight end taken in most fantasy drafts, Graham may end up representing better value as the second tight end off the board.
|Jimmy Graham gets new deal with Saints -- Tue Jul 15 9:47 am --|
|The New Orleans Saints and Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham have agreed to a four-year, $40 million deal that includes $21 million guaranteed, a source familiar with the deal told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: The two sides had until 4pm Eastern to reach a deal. Graham had been seeking to be paid as a wide receiver but his request was rejected by an arbitrator. This means there won't be any tension or holdout possibility during camp. Graham is the top tight end in fantasy football scoring 36 touchdowns the last three years.
|Jimmy Graham a tight end according to arbitrator -- Wed Jul 2 12:44 pm --|
Graham has 10 days to appeal
|In a groundbreaking decision, the NFL has confirmed that arbitrator Stephen Burbank denied Jimmy Graham's request to officially be declared a wide receiver under the NFL's franchise-tag rules. The Saints will not have to increase their one-year tender offer of $7.053 million to Graham. The receiver tender would have cost them $12.132 million. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: No need to move Graham to you wide receiver cheatsheet. This will save the Saints roughly $5 million in franchise money but this ruling also allows the two sides to focus on a long-term deal under the parameters that Graham is a tight end and not a receiver. The two sides have until July 15th to work out a long-term contract.