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Jimmy Graham declared a tight end for franchise tag

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In a move that could set a precedent for years to come, the New Orleans Saints' Jimmy Graham has been declared a tight end for the purposes of the franchise tag.

Kevin C. Cox

It's official: Jimmy Graham is a tight end, at least when it comes to the franchise tag. Graham was hoping to be designated as a wide receiver for his franchise tag with the New Orleans Saints, but Ian Rapoport reports that arbitrator Stephen Burbank has declared Graham a tight end. This means that Graham is set to make $7.035 million (the TE franchise tag) this year instead of $12.312 million (the WR franchise tag).

So, why was Graham declared a tight end even though he spends so much time out wide and in the slot? Here's what Rapoport reported about the decision:

Yes, Graham lists himself as a tight end on Twitter, and that's actually something that the Detroit Lions' Eric Ebron does as well. Although he wants a new designation for players like Graham and himself, Ebron has previously said that he identifies as a tight end, and he was keeping an eye on the Graham case since the ruling could set a precedent for years to come. Down the road, if the Lions are in a situation where they have to franchise Ebron, I think it's safe to say he will be considered a tight end based on this ruling.