The Saints’ Jimmy Graham and the NFL Players Association were dealt a setback Wednesday when an arbitrator ruled that he can only be considered a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag designation.
NFLPA had filed a grievance arguing that Graham was used as a wide receiver often enough to qualify for the more lucrative receiver tag. But arbitrator Stephen Burbank disagreed and now the NFLPA is reviewing his ruling, and will advise Graham on his options, which could include an appeal.
Graham’s case is being closely watched around the league because it could set a precedent for negotiations involving players who fill diverse roles in their teams’ offensive or defensive schemes. For example, some outside linebackers in a 3-4 defensive scheme could argue their right to receive the higher defensive end tag.
NFL franchise tags, which allow each team to keep one prized player who is due to become a free agent, were set this year at $7 million for tight ends and $12.3 million for receivers.
Bills’ Alonso tears ACL, "likely" to miss 2014 season
Kiko Alonso’s season is over before it even began after the Buffalo Bills starting linebacker was diagnosed with a torn ligament in his left knee.
General manager Doug Whaley provided the update in a statement released by the team on Wednesday, a day after Alonso was hurt while working out in Oregon. Whaley said Alonso will require surgery to repair a torn ACL, and "will likely miss the 2014 season." The Bills did not provide any details as to how Alonso was hurt.
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