Twitter’s Jimmy Graham: New Orleans Saints TIGHT END. (TheJimmyGraham/Twitter)
William Shakespeare once wrote, “That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.”
Unfortunately for Saints player Jimmy Graham, this logic doesn’t apply to salary standards in football positions, or else he probably would have called himself by another name. Indeed, it’s because Graham’s Twitter bio says he’s a tight end, and not a receiver, that he may miss out on over $5 million next year.
As it stands, Graham and Saints management are in arbitration fighting over Graham’s upcoming 2014 salary. Though the team lists him as a tight end and wants to pay him as such, the fact is that he lines up as a wide receiver for 67 percent of plays on the field. That gives Graham and his agent reason to believe that he’s entitled to the $12.3 million wide receiver franchise tag salary, not the $7 million that tight ends make.
(RapSheet/Twitter via SB Nation)
Seems like pretty damning evidence, and maybe it would be the case-closer if the NFL and the Saints organization really were relying on name alone to make decisions on the way Graham should get paid. But, as SB Nation points out, Graham also led the NFL in touchdown receptions last year, besting all other wide receivers and tight ends in the league. And he even grabbed enough catches and accumulated enough yards to put him just outside the top 10 of all receivers in those categories, too.
So pay the man for what he does, right?
Unfortunately for Graham, the Saints tagged him with the one-year franchise deal in lieu of restructuring a long-term deal or letting him become a free agent, which means he has to stay and play for the average of the top five salaries of the top players in his same position in the league. The only thing Graham could have done to help his cause: Maybe call himself a “Touchdown Catcher” or “Football Player” on Twitter. Anything but tight end, right?
Regardless, with the talented New Orleans player set to pull in, at worst, more than seven times what he made last year, the ending to this story will decidedly not look anything like an actual Shakespearean tragedy, that’s for certain.
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