It’s been quite sometime since the NFL has seen a talent like Jimmy Graham. Sure, the New Orleans Saints‘ tight end has his downfalls, but he’s still undoubtedly the most consistent tight end on the planet. In fact, some may argue that Graham is more valuable than any other wide receiver or running back in the game.
With that being said; why is the Saints’ front office treating the 27-year-old All-Pro like he’s a middle-of-the-road talent? On Saturday, the Saints placed a non-exclusive franchise tag on Graham. With that, New Orleans is allowing other teams to negotiate with the tight end, but Graham will cost any other teams two first-round draft picks in return. Not to mention, the Saints also have an opportunity to match any deal that lands on Graham’s plate.
Some may think that Saints general manager Mickey Loomis is “making the smart move,” but I have never seen such a face of a franchise be treated so poorly. Rather than lock Graham up on a team-friendly five or six-year deal, Loomis would rather take the cheapest road possible. By handling Graham’s free agency so poorly, the Saints have established themselves as a franchise that lacks in loyalty and professionalism.
The next time a big-name free agent checks the Saints off of his list, we will all know exactly why.