The New Orleans Saints will have a tough offseason in terms of salary cap. The Saints have a lot of key contributors that they would like to re-sign but the money might not be there. Then there are players like tight end Jimmy Graham who is severely underpaid and deserves a nice contract extension.
Back in 2010 Graham signed a four-year $2.455 million contract with the Saints and since then has been one of the best tight ends in the NFL. Last season when the New England Patriots gave tight end Rob Gronkowski an eight-year $55.2 million contract extension many thought that Graham’s extension would be next. That has not been the case so far and I don’t see it happening any time soon.
The Saints have other key players that will be free agents this summer and need to address re-signing those players first and foremost. Specifically, the Saints need to make left tackle, Jermon Bushrod, a top priority this offseason. Also, the Saints need to decide whether or not they want to keep middle linebacker, Jonathan Vilma, or defensive end, Will Smith. The Saints’ salary cap will be tight this summer and Graham’s extension might get lost in the mix.
Despite the salary cap constraints the Saints need to make Graham’s extension a long term priority. Graham is one of the best tight ends in the NFL and even though he was battling a wrist injury for most of this past season his numbers were still very good.
In 15 games Graham had 85 receptions for 982 yards and nine touchdowns. Graham’s numbers obviously weren’t as good as his previous breakout season but they were still very good especially when you consider he was dealing with a wrist injury.
The Saints do not want to run out of time on getting a deal done for Graham because he could be an unrestricted free agent following the 2013 season. The Saints should look to give Graham a nice contract extension at some point before the summer of 2014 because if Graham hits the open market you better believe he will be a lot of teams’ number one target.
If and when Graham will get his contract extension remains to be seen and only time will tell. With that said, the Saints cannot let too much time go by because Graham is a franchise tight end. If the Saints can give him a contract extension he will be a big part of the Saints’ success for years to come.