User ID
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Betting Tools

Saints confirm deal with TE Graham

New customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The New Orleans Saints on Tuesday confirmed a multiyear contract with Jimmy Graham, ending a protracted holdout for the star tight end.

Graham skipped all of the Saints' voluntary and mandatory practices and workouts - and challenged the NFL's franchise tag process through arbitration.

The odds of Graham leaving the Saints were slim since the club in late February placed its franchise tag on the player.

The NFL Players Association filed a grievance, contending Graham was used as a wide receiver often enough to qualify for the more lucrative receiver tag, worth about $5 million a year more than the $7 million tag for a tight end.

A hearing was held in June and earlier this month. Arbitrator Stephen Burbank sided with the NFL, ruling Graham was capable of continuing to perform specific tight end duties while lined up in the slot or within 4 yards of an offensive tackle.

Once the ruling was in place, Graham had a choice of appealing or trying to reach a long-term contract by a July 15 deadline - after which he would have to play next season for his franchise tag number. A favorable ruling from Burbank would have further enhanced negotiating leverage for Graham, who last season led the Saints with 86 catches for 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Graham, a former college basketball player who played one year of football at Miami, was the Saints' third-round draft choice in 2010. In his second season, Graham caught 99 passes for 1,310 yards. That total stood briefly as a yards receiving record for tight ends. That same day the mark was broken on the final day of that season by New England's Rob Gronkowski, who finished with 1,327.

Graham has led the Saints in catches the past three seasons and led them in yards receiving and touchdowns in two of the last three seasons. For the past three regular seasons, he has 270 catches for 3,507 yards and 36 touchdowns.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2015
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

Rogers: Week 12 Tip Sheet
Roberts: Vegas Money Moves - Week 12
Rogers: Public Fades - Week 12
Sportsbook: SNF - Patriots at Broncos
Marshall: Tech Trends - Week 12
Nelson: Close Calls - Week 11
Bills DT Williams out for season
Bears' defense key to 2nd half surge
Dolphins confident on road vs. Jets
Why Buy Picks From
NFL Pro Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NFL Hot Streaks
5-2 Sun., 15-6 Run, 10-1 Mondays
41-21 Last 62 Picks, +1,555 TY
9-2 L11 G-Plays, 11-4 L15 Picks
19-9 Last 28 NFL Streak
4-1 L5 Picks, 10-3 L13 G-Plays
5-1 Last 6, 23-10 Last 33 Picks
5-1 L6 Picks, 17-9 L5 Sundays
10-3 L13, 12-4 L16 Selections
5-1 Last 6 Guaranteed Plays
16-6 L4 Sundays, 28-14 +1,316 L42
5-2 Last 7 NFL Picks
3-1 Record Sunday
2-0 Thursday, 5-2 L7
5-1 Last 6 NFL Guarantees
NCAA FB College Football Expert Sports Picks - Iowa Hawkeyes at Nebraska Cornhuskers
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Marc Lawrence + 1555
Andy Iskoe + 1065
Joe Nelson + 1028
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
ASA + 300
Michael Black + 300
Andy Iskoe + 295
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Marc Lawrence 63 %
Joe Nelson 62 %
Zack Cimini 62 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Nelson + 448
Scott Pritchard + 415
Vince Akins + 310
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Michael Black + 406
Jimmy Boyd + 363
Scott Pritchard + 300
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Paul Bovi + 909
Antony Dinero + 706
Marc Lawrence + 660
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership