What's Buzzing:

Saints confirm multiyear deal with Jimmy Graham

AP - Sports
Saints confirm multiyear deal with Jimmy Graham

View photo

FILE - In this Nov. 21, 2013 file photo, New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) tries to get past Atlanta Falcons free safety Thomas DeCoud (28) during the second half of an NFL football game in Atlanta. The Saints have confirmed a multiyear contract with star tight end Jimmy Graham. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The New Orleans Saints on Tuesday confirmed a multiyear contract with Jimmy Graham, ending a protracted holdout for the star tight end.

Graham skipped all of the Saints' voluntary and mandatory practices and workouts - and challenged the NFL's franchise tag process through arbitration.

The odds of Graham leaving the Saints were slim since the club in late February placed its franchise tag on the player.

The NFL Players Association filed a grievance, contending Graham was used as a wide receiver often enough to qualify for the more lucrative receiver tag, worth about $5 million a year more than the $7 million tag for a tight end.

A hearing was held in June and earlier this month. Arbitrator Stephen Burbank sided with the NFL, ruling Graham was capable of continuing to perform specific tight end duties while lined up in the slot or within 4 yards of an offensive tackle.

Once the ruling was in place, Graham had a choice of appealing or trying to reach a long-term contract by a July 15 deadline - after which he would have to play next season for his franchise tag number. A favorable ruling from Burbank would have further enhanced negotiating leverage for Graham, who last season led the Saints with 86 catches for 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Graham, a former college basketball player who played one year of football at Miami, was the Saints' third-round draft choice in 2010. In his second season, Graham caught 99 passes for 1,310 yards. That total stood briefly as a yards receiving record for tight ends. That same day the mark was broken on the final day of that season by New England's Rob Gronkowski, who finished with 1,327.

Graham has led the Saints in catches the past three seasons and led them in yards receiving and touchdowns in two of the last three seasons. For the past three regular seasons, he has 270 catches for 3,507 yards and 36 touchdowns.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (37)
  • Florida A&M edges Alcorn State in 73-71 victory

    CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) -- Malcolm Bernard made a go-ahead basket just before the final buzzer to help Florida A&M beat Alcorn State 73-71 in the Corpus Christi Coastal Classic on Saturday. … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
  • Fordham cruises to 87-64 win over Manhattan

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Mandell Thomas scored 26 points and Ryan Rhoomes added 20 more to propel Fordham to an 87-64 win over Manhattan on Saturday. … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
  • USC rolls past No. 22 UCLA 40-21, takes Pac-12 South title

    USC rolls past No. 22 UCLA 40-21, takes Pac-12 South title

    Cody Kessler blinked back tears after he ascended the stepladder and raised his sword to lead the Southern California band in his final act on the Coliseum turf. Although the Trojans never imagined the path to the Pac-12 title game would include so … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
  • Davis scores 30 points to help No. 5 Baylor beat Michigan St

    For the second straight year, Baylor found itself facing a double-digit deficit against Michigan State. Nina Davis scored 30 points and No. 5 Baylor overcame an early 12-point deficit to beat the No. 20 Spartans 84-76 on Saturday to win the … More »

    AP - Sports - 7 minutes ago
  • Wisconsin beats Minnesota for 12th straight time, 31-21

    Wisconsin beats Minnesota for 12th straight time, 31-21

    The Badgers knew where to find it. The Badgers have done that so often they could pull that move off in their sleep. Dare Ogunbowale rushed for a career-high 155 yards and a touchdown and Wisconsin beat Minnesota for the 12th straight time, 31-21 … More »

    AP - Sports - 8 minutes ago