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He finally found a foe he couldn’t beat

  // Sunday, 06 July 2014 08:49 //

Few burdens are as difficult to bear as the burden of proof.

It’s heavy enough that the lawyers and clients tasked with meeting them frequently try to resolve matters before they appear in front of the triers of fact — juries, judges, NFL system arbitrators.

There aren’t many things that are too heavy for a 6-foot-7, 265-pound All-Pro like the Saints’ Jimmy Graham. But one of the burdens of proof he recently tried to bear was.

Listed by the Saints as a tight end, Graham all along has had the strongest of cases that he deserves to be the best-paid player at that position in league history. From 2011 to 2013, no NFL tight end equaled his 270 catches and 3,507 receiving yards, and no NFLer matched his 36 touchdown grabs.

Those numbers justify a contract that by at least $1 million exceeds the $9 million per year the New England Patriots are giving top-paid tight end Rob Gronkowski as part of the six-season, $54 million deal he accepted in 2012.

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