New Orleans Saints general manager Micky Loomis says there is no time limit on getting Jimmy Graham to commit his long-term future to the team.
Graham was due to become a free agent in the offseason, but he was franchised by the Saints to stop him hitting the open market.
Talks about a long-term deal to keep him in New Orleans for the foreseeable future have been ongoing, but as yet no agreement has been reached.
According to previous reports there is a willingness from both sides to get a contract done and dusted, and avoid the problems that would come with the 27-year-old being tagged as a tight end.
According to Pro Football Talk, a new contract should be agreed by mid-April - although Loomis has now shot down that idea.
"Look, I’m always optimistic. But there’s no deadline here,” Loomis said when asked if that April 22 date was being used as a target.
When asked when a potential deal could be reached, Loonis continued: “I don’t have an answer for that.
"That’s a two-way street. You know, you guys [in the media] have been through this lots of times. I think all of us would rather have things done sooner rather than later, but it doesn’t always happen that way. So we’ll keep going, well keep at it in the process.
"Obviously we want to have Jimmy Graham on our team when training camp begins, and I am sure he wants to be with us.
“So we’ll just keep plugging away at the process. He’s got a great agent. And all his people, they know what they’re doing, and so do we. Hopefully we’ll come to a conclusion at some point.”
Previous reports have suggested that the Saints are willing to make Graham the best paid tight end in NFL history with a contract worth around $9 million. That's still less than he would receive were he franchised as a wide receiver for the 2014 season.