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:
Why was Jimmy Graham ruled a TE? He’s in TE meetings, #Saints drafted him as a TE… and yes, I’m told his twitter bio is in the ruling— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 2, 2014
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.