There was speculation after Jimmy Graham received the franchise tag from the Saints a few weeks ago that the standout pass catcher could draw interest from a team willing to part with two first-round picks to sign him, but so far nothing has materialized. Instead, Saints head coach Sean Payton believes Graham will eventually reach a long-term agreement with the club, suggesting that “a lot of us feel it’s not a matter of if, but when” (Twitter link). Here are a few Wednesday updates related to Graham and more Saints-related issues:
- Payton tells Pro Football Talk that he believes a deal with Graham before the grievance deadline of April 22 is likely. However, the head coach believes the franchise tag system is “antiquated” and said this morning that it was only a matter of time before a player like Graham battled his position designation (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com).
- The Saints didn’t go into free agency intending to sign a fullback, but jumped at the opportunity to sign a “very good” football player in Erik Lorig, said Payton (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Mike Triplett).
- According to Payton, New Orleans will always pay attention to quarterbacks in the draft, but the club would like to re-sign veteran backup Luke McCown (Twitter links via Triplett).
- Tim Lelito will be in the mix at center for the Saints, according to Payton, but the situation is still unfolding and the club could bring in a veteran (Twitter link via Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune).
- Payton also said today that there’s always a premium on cornerbacks and pass-rushers, and teams always have interest in adding another one (Twitter link via Holder).