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Jimmy Graham Saga: The bigger picture

This ruling is not as simple as you might think because it might have huge implications. Simply put if Graham is a wide receiver, then who else was labeled a tight end and was actually a wide receiver!?

The Franchise Tag value for a position is calculated by the top 5 players who played at that position last year. If Graham is a WR then Gronk and Gonzalez might also be a WR in 2013. That means that their salary should NOT count toward the franchise tag number of the TE position but instead at the WR position. Since they were not in the top 5 that would stay at the 12M$ mark. However the TE 7M$ mark will drop considerably!

This means this whole offseason is compromised already. A team might have tagged their TE because the salary would have been lower then was set. And what for other positions? A CB that is used as a safety often, or a Safety that plays CB because the starting corners were injured. A DE playing OLB or vise versa… Every high payed player’s snap needs to be recalculated. Some franchise tag offers might have been offered at a value that is too low, thus making them illegal.

A ruling in favor of Graham would have teams count snaps for their TEs in a contract year. Meaning players in contract situations will be kept to a minimum of 51% of snaps along side the Tackle just to make them a real TE when they will be tagged. That will limit players and the way teams play.

I think the NFL will not just look at the Saints or at Graham but at themselves and what this ruling would mean for the NFL. This will result in the NFL ruling in favor of the Saints.