Even though injuries took away from Jimmy Graham‘s 2012 campaign, you still have to consider him a top-tier NFL tight end. After three years with the New Orleans Saints, Graham will be entering the final year of his contract in 2013. He’s been a bargain so far for the franchise, but now things could get complicated.
You’d have to think he’s as big of a priority for the Saints as almost any player, but you never know. Graham will undoubtedly be owed a tremendous pay increase from his current average salary of around $600k. I’m thinking this new deal could be one of the largest we’ve ever seen for a tight end in league history.
All of this is of course contingent on Graham staying healthy, and returning to 2011-form. There’s no doubt in my mind, that if he can stay on the field, that he will be right back where he was two years ago.
Will there be a point when the Saints just think he’s too expensive? I doubt it, I think they’re likely to pay Graham to stay in New Orleans, unless he’s just being unreasonable. If he wants to stay there, and he’s realistic with his contract demands, I wouldn’t see a reason the two sides couldn’t work something out.
A deal is unlikely to get done this season, because it can be bad business for the player. With another good year, other teams can make offers to the future free agent, and ultimately he could get more out of the Saints. Graham would take the risk of possibly getting injured and losing money, but if he stays healthy, he’ll likely get a mega-contract from New Orleans next spring.
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