Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at 8:56 PM

  • Share:
             
  • Comments
  • Print

Arbitrator rules Jimmy Graham is tight end, not wide receiver

The Saints’ Jimmy Graham and the NFL Players Association were dealt a setback Wednesday when an arbitrator ruled that he can only be considered a tight end for the purposes of his franchise-tag designation.


The Associated Press

advertising

NEW ORLEANS — The Saints’ Jimmy Graham and the NFL Players Association were dealt a setback Wednesday when an arbitrator ruled that he can only be considered a tight end for the purposes of his franchise-tag designation.

NFLPA had filed a grievance arguing that Graham was used as a wide receiver often enough to qualify for the more lucrative receiver tag. But arbitrator Stephen Burbank disagreed, and now the NFLPA is reviewing his ruling and will advise Graham on his options, which could include an appeal.

Graham’s case is being closely watched around the league because it could set a precedent for negotiations involving players who fill diverse roles in their teams’ offensive or defensive schemes. For example, some outside linebackers in a 3-4 defensive scheme could argue their right to receive the higher defensive-end tag.

NFL franchise tags, which allow each team to keep one prized player who is due to become a free agent, were set this year at $7 million for tight ends and $12.3 million for receivers.

Burbank, who is also a University of Pennsylvania law professor, found that Graham could fulfill the standard duties of a tight end when he was lined up in the slot or within 4 yards of an offensive tackle, as he was for most of his snaps.

Burbank further pointed out that defenses usually accounted for Graham as a tight end, regardless of his alignment, by assigning a linebacker or safety to cover him.

Graham has skipped Saints offseason practices while holding out for a new, long-term contract.

Note

• Buffalo Bills starting linebacker Kiko Alonso has torn a ligament in his left knee and is expected to miss the entire season. Alonso, who led Buffalo with 159 tackles last season, was hurt while working out at Oregon.



Want unlimited access to seattletimes.com? Subscribe now!

Also in Sports

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Where in the world are Seahawks fans?

Where in the world are Seahawks fans?

Put your marker on The Seattle Times interactive map and share your fan story.

Advertising

Partner Video

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►