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Sean Payton: No hard feelings towards Jimmy Graham

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New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton insists there are no hard feelings between the franchise and Jimmy Graham as his contract saga rumbles on.

As it stands Graham will walk away from New Orleans in 2015 after he was franchise tagged to stop him hitting the open market.

Talks are continuing with the 27-year-old over a new contract that will make him the highest tight end in NFL history, and Payton said yesterday that he feels as though it is a case of 'not if, but when'.

The Saints head coach has added that there is no hard feelings between the parties as negotiations continue.

"They know it's a process and Jimmy's got great representation," he said.

"There's a ton of respect between [agent] Jimmy Sexton and [general manager] Mickey Loomis. All of those things is what makes it a positive, although difficult at times."

There seems to be a degree of optimism from both sides to get a contract sorted and avoid any fallout from Graham being tagged as a tight end.

He may take his case to the league if an agreement can't be reached, insisting he should be tagged as a wide receiver and thus earn the average salary of the three highest players in that position.

Having been tagged as a tight end, he will miss out on approximately $5 million that he would get if he was considered a wide receiver. 

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