Jimmy Graham: ‘I’m A Football Player’

Last week, Saints tight end Jimmy Graham helped kick off NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans at an adidas NBA All-Star Charity Event in the French Quarter, hanging out with and signing autographs for 30 kids from the local Kingsley House. After finishing up with the kids, we grabbed Graham to ask him briefly about his contract situation.

Graham, the top free agent in the league this offseason, is likely to be franchise-tagged by the Saints—the only question is whether he’ll be tagged as a wide receiver or a tight end. The franchise tag essentially pays a player the average of the top few salaries across the NFL at his position, meaning that if Graham is tagged as a tight end, he’ll make considerably less money in 2014 than he would if he were labeled a wide receiver. And, for a guy that lines up out wide even more than he does inside, he might feel like he’s owed those extra millions.

In fact, it was even reported that his camp is ready to file a grievance if he’s franchised as a tight end. On the subject of how he reacts to speculation about WR vs. TE, and what’s going to happen with his franchise tag and his contract, Graham told us simply:

“As far as that goes, I don’t pay attention to what people call it. I play and I get lined up, and I do what I’m told. I’m a football player, who’s going to go out there and make a play and try to help us win.”

Beyond that, Graham said only that he’ll have to wait and see how things play out. Meanwhile, he’s prepping for a March 1 USO trip to Afghanistan to show love to the troops, and looking forward to flying—yes, he’s a licensed pilot—daily around Florida and the East coast when he gets back. Graham says he only watched a little bit of Super Bowl XLVIII, admitting that it was tough to watch the Seahawks triumph.

“It’s tough to watch any football game when you’re not in it,” he said. “They’re a very good team, they have amazing players. What they’ve been able to do with that team out there, and stack all those good players, is pretty special. A lot of teams are going to patent what they’re doing after that. The game was over fairly quickly in that one.”

Bookmark and Share
blog comments powered by Disqus