New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has revealed he's told team-mate Jimmy Graham to 'be patient' as talks about his future at the franchise continue.
As yet the Saints haven't been able to come to an agreement with Graham over a new long-term deal. Instead the tight-end has been franchise tagged for the 2014 season, although even that isn't straight-forward.
He's been tagged as a tight-end despite lining up for the majority of his snaps as a wide receiver - and because of that will earn around $5 million less than he would do if tagged as a wideout, which he says he should be considered as.
Brees is likely to understand Graham's frustration better than anyone having been through a similar situation back two years ago.
Then, Brees was tagged but refused to sign the deal which caused him to miss most of the offseason before an agreement was finally reached.
Speaking to the NFL's Around The League, the 35-year-old said he has advised Graham, who claimed a season-high 16 touchdown passes in 2013, to hold tight and wait for his future to sort itself out.
"I just told him be patient," he said. "Don't get frustrated. Don't take it personally. It's part of the deal and it's hard and ... you just want it to be over. You want certainty. That's the hardest part."
There's been uncertainty at the Saints throughout the offseason beyond Graham's contract problems, with a host of players coming and going.
Superbowl-winning veterans Roman Harper, Jabari Greer, Lance Moore, Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith were all released, while Darren Sproles has been traded to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Speaking about the upheaval, Brees said: "It's tough. It's really tough. You know it's not going to last forever but it doesn't make it any easier when the day comes.
(Moore) was always an unsung hero. ... Lance was just the quiet guy who just made plays and did what we asked him to do. I can think of so many big plays he had for us in his career.
"It's all rushing through my mind right now. You enjoy coming to work every day to be around guys like Lance."
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