The grievance hearing on Jimmy Graham‘s franchise tag positional designation is scheduled for next week, and a source tells Mike Triplett of ESPN.com that the NFL Management Council is preparing a “strong counterargument” against the NFLPA’s claim that Graham should be considered a receiver.
“The union’s position is a naked cash grab,” the source said. “It ignores Mr. Graham’s use as a traditional tight end on roughly 60% of the snaps where he lined up within four yards of the tackle. It also ignores the historical use of the tight end position.”
It’s fair to assume that Triplett’s source isn’t exactly an impartial observer, considering his comments sound like ones the NFL will make during the hearing. Taking into account that the Saints star lined up in the slot or split out wide for roughly two-thirds of his snaps in 2013, the decision certainly isn’t cut-and-dried, and the outcome could have significant ramifications not just on Graham’s next deal, but on the tight end position going forward.
Here’s more from out of the NFC:
- “I think I can play 12 years,” Bears running back Matt Forte tells John Mullin of CSNChicago.com. Forte, who has two years left on his current contract, would have to play through the 2019 season to achieve that goal.
- The Giants have multiple free agents lined up for workouts this week, according to Jordan Raanan of NJ.com, who writes in two separate pieces that the club will audition 6’5″ wide receiver Denzell Jones and former South Carolina cornerback Victor Hampton on Wednesday.
- Patrick Peterson and the Cardinals have yet to reach an agreement on a new long-term contract, but that didn’t stop the cornerback from reporting to the club’s mandatory minicamp today, says Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com. Agent Joel Segal and the Cards continue to discuss an extension for Peterson.
- Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com believes Justin Durant will be the Cowboys‘ starting middle linebacker when the regular season gets underway, but suggests that if Durant doesn’t play well in camp, the 28-year-old is a candidate to be cut or traded.
- Wide receiver Kain Colter received the biggest bonus ($8K) among the Vikings‘ undrafted free agent signings, writes Ben Goessling of ESPN.com.