I thought this was a new UFC move or something.
The case is pretty simple. The Saints want to franchise tag Graham as a tight end, Graham says he is really a WR per the rules set out in the CBA and wants WR franchise money. Seems like an airtight case, but here is what the NFL had to say.
At stake is whether the New Orleans Saints should be required to offer Graham a one-year franchise tag salary of $12.3 million instead of $7.035 million — not to mention a tremendous amount of leverage in their long-term contract negotiations.
“The union’s position is a naked cash grab,” the source said. “It ignores Mr. Graham’s use as a ‘traditional’ tight end on roughly 60 percent of the snaps where he lined up within 4 yards of the tackle. It also ignores the historical use of the tight end position.
The NFLPA, meanwhile, will argue that Graham should be considered a wide receiver since he lined up for 67 percent of his snaps in either the slot or out wide last season (according to ESPN Stats and Information).
According to the letter of the law, the collective bargaining agreement states that the franchise tag designation is based on the position “at which the Franchise player participated in the most plays during the prior League Year.”
If the NFL didn’t want players to challenge this, they shouldn’t have put in the CBA. I think ultimately Graham will win his claim.