Saint Jimmy

On July 18, 2014, in Sporting News, by admin

New Orleans SaintsThe off season this year couldn’t have been very restful for Saints tight end Jimmy Graham. But he did come out around $2,000,000 better off for his efforts, not to mention the adoration of a great city in the bargain.

Few Saints fans really believed that Graham was going anywhere anyway, but still, the show must go on. The Saints front office put Drew Brees through the same grinder a few years ago. It wasn’t a very pretty process in either case. But in the end, both sides pretty much got what they wanted out of the deal. 

The focus of Graham’s offseason petition was, on the surface, about money. And it was. Although Jimmy signed on as a tight end with New Orleans and referred to himself on social media as a tight end, the difference in annual pay between a tight end and a wide receiver is over $5,000,000. Huge money. Worth a shot at, right?

What Graham was in fact doing was laying the ground work for an evolution in the way that the National Football League looks at and evaluates each position on a football team. In no other major sport is a player paid according to what position he plays… and that’s got to change.

Before Graham’s grievance, most of us were not even aware of the inequities in pay on NFL teams, now we are. Now Roger Goodell and his staff know that we know.  Watch for some reform to be made along those lines in the not too distant future. 

So now Jimmy Graham has himself a nice $40,000,000 deal with the Saints and both he and the City of New Orleans could not be more delighted. Graham told the press, “I’m beyond excited.  I didn’t get into football to learn litigation. I got into football to win games with my teammates, friends and coaches. I am extremely happy to get back to what it’s really about.”

Jimmy Graham had only played some 13 games of college football when he was selected by New Orleans in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft in 2010. Before that he had been an excellent basketball player and many wondered if the Saints had made a mistake in drafting him, apparently not.

Graham, along with Brandon Fields and Pierre Garcon went traveling with the USO this summer representing the NFL in some faraway places. He later said, “It was an eye-opening experience, It made me proud as an American to see it up close. To see everything they have done it makes you appreciate the little things you have so much more.”


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