SATURDAY, 10:20am: Graham will earn $970K next season, the minimum value for his service time, according to Evan Woodbery of NOLA.com (via Twitter).
THURSDAY, 5:58pm: The Saints announced that Graham’s deal has been signed.
3:50pm: Having reportedly reached a deal to re-sign free agent linebacker Parys Haralson earlier today, the Saints have struck an agreement to bring back another one of their pending free agents, according to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports. Garafolo reports (via Twitter) that New Orleans has re-signed kicker Shayne Graham to a one-year contract.
Graham, 37, was solid, albeit unspectacular, in assuming full-time kicking duties for the Saints in 2014. Asked to attempt just 22 field goals, Graham made 19 of them, for an 86.4% success rate, and didn’t miss any from inside 40 yards. The 14-year veteran also made 46 of 47 extra points, and deferred to punter Thomas Morstead for kickoffs.
When I examined potential franchise tag candidates for the Saints last week, I identified Graham as perhaps the only viable option, but didn’t view it as a realistic possibility. As I noted at the time, Graham’s performance in 2014 didn’t warrant paying him like a top kicker in the NFL. While financial terms of his new deal have yet to be reported, I’d expect the Virginia Tech product will either be in line for another minimum salary contract, or a salary only slightly north of that.