Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said Tuesday that the team will use the franchise tag on tight end Jimmy Graham if a long-term deal can’t be reached.
Graham wasn’t too excited about the idea, Katherine Terrell of the New Orleans Times Picayune reports.
“That’s real unfortunate,” Graham told NFL.com while in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. “If that happens, it doesn’t really matter what I prefer.”
The team is allowed to place the franchise tag on one player each year. It binds the player to his team for one season, but at a salary equal to average salary of the top five salaries at a given position or 120 percent of the player’s salary in the previous year (whichever is greater.)
The franchise tag is projected to be about $6.7 million for a tight end in 2014
Graham played out his initial rookie contract and earned $1.3 million in 2013. He was the most targeted player on the Saints and led the NFL with a career-high 16 receiving touchdowns. He also led the team with 1,215 receiving yards.
“I’m not keen on the franchise tag, that would be really unfortunate, but that is really all I have to say about that one,” Graham said.