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Jimmy Graham & Saints on collision course as grievance hearing date is set

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Football News

Jimmy Graham and the New Orleans Saints are set to find out whether the 27-year-old should be considered a tight end or a wide receiver next month.

Graham was drafted as a tight end by the Saints, but lined up for more of his snaps in the slot or out wide in 2013.

That turned out to be key when he reached the end of his rookie contract - he's been franchised tagged as a tight end by the Saints, which means he'll receive the average salary of the top three players in that position.

However, Graham and his representatives are arguing that he should be tagged as a wide receiver where he'd earn more than $5 million extra a year.

There had been hope that a long-term contract agreement could be thrashed out that would render the issue redundant - however that hasn't proved to be the case and after Graham filed a grievance last week a hearing has been scheduled.

According to ESPN, the grievance hearing has been scheduled for the weekend of June 17-18 where a decision over which position Graham will be considered as filling will be made.

Saints general manager Micky Loomis refused to answer specific questions about Graham - who recorded a league-leading 16 touchdown catches last year - but said his team will abide by the decision of the NFL Management Council.

"Obviously we get consulted and talked with," he said. "But that's the management council's duty."

Although there have been plenty of similar disputes in the history of the NFL, none have actually made it all the way to a hearing.

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