South Notes: Graham, Hilton, Panthers, Titans

Jimmy Graham‘s hearing on the positional designation for his franchise tag is scheduled to get underway on Tuesday, and at least one Saints beat writer believes the Saints should win the decision. Larry Holder of the Times-Picayune points to Graham’s production during the rare instances when he was covered by a cornerback last season, arguing that his numbers in those cases don’t compare favorably at all to the league’s best receivers. The idea of determining a player’s value based on his position rather than his overall contributions to the team seems a little archaic to me, so I appreciate that Holder’s argument centers more around the pressure Graham puts on a defense rather than where he lines up — even if that may ultimately not affect the arbitrator’s decision. We’ll have to wait and see if the NFL management council makes a similar case during next week’s hearing.

Here’s more from around the NFL’s two South divisions:

  • After parting ways with agent Drew Rosenhaus, Colts wideout T.Y. Hilton has hired Maverick Carter and Erik Burkhardt to represent him, reports Adam Schefter of (via Twitter). Hilton still has two years left on his rookie deal.
  • In the wake of Jordan Gross‘ retirement, the Panthers still aren’t sure who will be protecting Cam Newton‘s blind side at left tackle this season, writes Steve Reed of The Associated Press.
  • Northern Colorado signal-caller Seth Lobato auditioned for the Titans yesterday, a league source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. Lobato went undrafted last month and signed with the Colts as a free agent, but was cut by the team earlier in June.
  • Former Dolphin Will Yeatman, who was converted from a tight end to an offensive lineman a couple years back, has visited the Texans this week, as well as the Vikings, according to Wilson. Yeatman is recovering from an ACL injury but is expected to be ready for the season.
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