Saturday, 11 February 2012 11:51
New Orleans Saints Should Pay Jimmy Graham More
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graham-panthersThe focus has been on the Saints re-signing Drew Brees, Carl Nicks and Marques Colston, but they need to give Jimmy Graham a raise.

After two seasons in the NFL, Graham has become one of the top two or three top tight ends in the league. He is playing on the four-year contract he agreed to as third-round choice which is for four years with an average salary of $613,750.

When you look at Graham's productions and potential, he might be the most underpaid player in the league. He's only 25 and he's going to better. Last season was one of the best seasons ever for a tight end: 99 catches for 1,310 yards and 11 touchdowns and a Pro Bowl appearance.

The Falcons' Tony Gonzales signed a one-year extension at the end of the 2011 season that will pay him about $7 million. Gonzales might be the best tight end ever, he's also on the downside of his career, and Graham is better now.

In 2011, the average tight end salary was $1.27 million. In terms of average per year, Graham ranked down near the bottom.

Graham's not the kind of guy to threaten a holdout and resort to that kind of tactic.

The Saints could play hardball and make Graham play out his rookie contract.

But sooner or later, the Saints are going to have to pay him what he's worth.

SOME hither, others yon:  When NBC Sports announced that Super Bowl XLVI was the most watched in U.S. television history with 111.3 million viewers, it said New Orleans ranked fifth among markets. Boston topped the viewers with Indianapolis second...Saints cornerback Tracy Porter regressed in the 2011 season. He's a starter in the NFL for sure and some teams will probably overpay him because of his big plays in the past, but the Saints may not be that team.. Dwight Robinson is ready to be a starter and Johnny Patrick is gaining experience and improving at the corner...

Defensive tackle Aurbayo Franklin didn't quite live up to his billing and was a hit or miss with the Saints last season. He will be looking for a long-term deal and the Saints may not want to give him one...Defensive tackle Shawn Rogers disappointed in the first half of the season but helped out stopping the opponents' running game in the second half. He wasn't a headache in the locker room despite his reputation and the Saints may bring him back...

by Ed Staton

(Buy your LSU baseball and other sports jerseys at

Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography.  


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