Jimmy Graham is a tight end after all. After a long embattled fight against the New Orleans Saints in which Graham attempted to argue that he should be classed as a wide receiver, the NFL ruled Wednesday in favor of the franchise meaning that he will again be listed as a TE when the 2014 season begins.
Graham had argued that he should be considered a wide receiver having claimed to have lined up in the position for the Saints more often than not last season but the league clearly disagreed with the player.
The Saints star does have the option to appeal the decision as part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement but he must do so within the next 10 days.
If the ruling sticks however Graham is facing losing out on a huge amount of cash with the difference between a franchise tagged TE (as Graham now is) and franchise tagged WR a fairly significant sum.
NFL salary rules mean a Tight End is able to earn up to around the $6.7 million mark when franchise tagged by his team, whilst a WR is projected to make between $11.5 and $11.7 million. Graham's long fight with the Saints to get himself redefined suddenly makes a lot more sense.
Not a shock
The decision comes as little surprise to many, with Jimmy Graham having been given All-Pro honors as a Tight End as well as listing himself in that position in his Twitter bio meaning the 2010 draftee was always fighting a losing battle.
The tight end position is an evolving one in the National Football League, with it now not uncommon to see TE's lining up either out wide or in the slot. And whilst the decision is clearly a blow to the player (and his bank balance) the ruling does not impact the fact that NFL decision-makers may be forced to make changes in the near future.
NFL rookie Eric Ebron, who was drafted by the Detroit Lions back in May, is in support of the creation of a hybrid designation to cater for the developing tight end position and Graham will clearly be in favor too.
For now though Jimmy Graham, unless he and the New Orleans Saints can reach agreement on a new deal in the next couple of weeks, will earn the maximum $7.053 million possible for a franchise tagged tight end playing in the NFL in 2014.