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NFL Trade Rumors: Jimmy Graham Heading to Cleveland Browns, Arbitration Ruling Sends Saints Into Full-on Rebuild

( [email protected] ) Jun 25, 2014 10:22 AM EDT
Can you imagine how much damage to opposing defenses Johnny Manziel could do if he had Graham to unleash?
Graham is one of the leagues biggest receiving threats. Usa Today

Jimmy Graham is garnering a lot of attention this offseason.  Both for disputes going on with his current team, and for his possible trade potential.

According to Rachel Whittaker of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Other NFL tight ends are interested in the ruling in his arbitration, and are watching for the decision Stephen Burbank is about to lay out in Graham's franchise tag dispute.  A ruling is expected any day now, according to the Sporting News.

Graham has made it clear that he thinks he deserves wideout money. As such, he believes he should be paid $12 million while carrying the team's franchise tag. As a tight end, his tagged salary is only around $7 million.

He has an outstanding case that he will probably win.  According to ESPN.com, Graham's snaps were divided the following way: 45 percent as a slot receiver, 33 percent as an in-line tight end and 22 percent as a wide receiver. He is being supported by the NFL players association.  

It's widely believed the Saints will bite the bullet and pay the man if the ruling doesn't go their way, and this is all just the bad side of the business, but you never know how things like this could go.

Graham has already made it known via twitter that he is "shocked" and "disappointed" with the Saints offseason, so he may be up for a move.   

Former Sports Agent Joel Corry explained in a column published at CBS Sports last month that he believes the Browns could be a suitor partly because All-Pro wide receiver Josh Gordon reportedly faces a potential season-long suspension from the NFL for another violation of its substance-abuse policy, and the team is going to need some help in the receiving department.  As of this point, there has not been a date set for the Gordon hearing so the Browns are in limbo there.

According to his contract, Graham could sign an offer sheet with another team, which would giving the Saints a week to match. If the Saints declined to match the offer, they would receive two first-round picks, one in 2015 and another in 2016, as compensation for losing Graham.

The Browns have $25.1 million in salary-cap space, second most in the league. They also have two first-round picks in next year's draft, including one acquired during this year's draft in a trade with the Buffalo Bills.

For the Saints fans, this ruling could push your team into a full fledged rebuild, and for Browns fans, well, let the salivating begin, as you dream about a Manziel-Graham league destroyer.