New Orleans Saints general manager Micky Loomis has moved to quell fears over Jimmy Graham's future with the franchise.
Graham, the leading touchdown receiver in the 2013 regular season, would have been a free agent this month - had the Saints not moved to use the franchise tag on him.
However his future isn't that straight-forward. Graham is yet to sign the one-year deal that will pay him $7 million as a tight end, and is instead holding out for wideout money that would see him earn in excess of $12 million.
He is arguing that, having lined up for the majority of his snaps as a wide receiver last season, he should be tagged in that position. Loomis has always maintained that he would always be considered as a tight end.
Despite the confusion, Loomis says there is still hope that a long-term contract will be agreed with Graham that will put to be any doubts about where his future lies to bed.
“These negotiations are always a process, and Jimmy's been a great player for us for the last four years,” he said.
“Look, I had hoped and I'm sure he had hoped we'd come to some conclusion on a longer-term deal before this. But we haven't yet, and hopefully we will. ... We'll just let it play out, and I'm sure we'll get something resolved.”
When asked about what happens next regarding Graham's claim to be considered as a wide receiver, Loomis responded: “I haven't been through this process. That remains to be seen.”
Last month the Saints moved to free up room on their wage bill by letting veterans Jabari Greer, Will Smith, Roman Harper and Jonathan Vilma go, apparently in order to make room for Graham's new, big-money contract.