Jimmy Graham wants to be recognised as a wide receiver and not a tight end if the New Orleans Saints opt to use a franchise tag on him.
Graham will be a free agent as of March, but the Saints have already started to cut their roster in order to free up funds to tie him down to a long-term deal.
He made $1.3 million in the final year of his rookie contract and will receive a bumper new deal if he can agree terms with the franchise.
However if an agreement can't be reached the Saints have the option of using the franchise tag on Graham - which means he'll be automatically signed for an extra year with a salary equivalent to the top three highest earners in his position.
That is something of a bone of contention for Graham, who wants to be considered as a wide receiver rather than as a tight end.
The 27-year-old, who caught more touchdown passes than any wide receiver in the regular season, lined up in that position for 63 percent of his snaps.
The difference in the average salary of a tight end compared to a wide receiver is huge; tagged as the former he would earn $6.8 million compared to $11.6 million as the latter.
However Saints general manager Micky Loomis doesn't see it that way.
"In our view he's a tight end. That's what makes him valuable," he told the Times Picayne. "That's where we drafted him, that's where we play him."
If that does prove to be the case then a lengthy legal battle may ensue, which would be far from ideal for all parties concerned.
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