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Saints News, 1/13/14: Franchise-Tag Fight Looming Between Saints & Jimmy Graham?

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Mike Florio of PFT says, "The Saints can keep Graham from leaving (or at least make it harder) at any point from February 17 through March 3, via the franchise tag. But if/when the Saints apply the tight end version of the tag, the stage will be set for a fight over whether Graham should be tagged as a receiver." And so begins the long, awful hell of the off-season when exciting football games are replaced with months of speculation and false drama that rarely ends up as interesting as media writers build it up to be beforehand. After what happened (or didn't happen) Saturday, I don't much care if any of our current offensive players return next season. I'm sure that will pass soon, though, once the season-ending sting wears off.

Jeff Gross

Tweets

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Saints&amp;src=hash">#Saints</a> Brees said he hasn&#39;t talked with team about restructuring deal yet. Still early in offseason. But always open to helping team.</p>&mdash; Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) <a href="https://twitter.com/MikeTriplett/statuses/422841761069678592">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Brees says he felt as good as he ever has at times this season. Feels he&#39;s still where he needs to be mentally</p>&mdash; WWL-TV Sports (@wwltvsports) <a href="https://twitter.com/wwltvsports/statuses/422837950896799744">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Brees said he feels like he&#39;s on the upward tick in his career.</p>&mdash; Larry Holder (@LarryHolder) <a href="https://twitter.com/LarryHolder/statuses/422837909872324610">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Brees said he&#39;s felt as good as he has this year than he ever has. Feels like he can play for &quot;a long time.&quot;</p>&mdash; Larry Holder (@LarryHolder) <a href="https://twitter.com/LarryHolder/statuses/422837783967703040">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Brees on Graham &quot;He&#39;s in a great situation &amp; an exciting time for him&quot; Said has spoken to Graham about free agency &amp; &quot;not worried about it&quot;</p>&mdash; New Orleans Saints (@Saints) <a href="https://twitter.com/Saints/statuses/422836782712225794">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Brees said he&#39;s talked to Jimmy Graham a few times about the upcoming contract discussions. Brees feels like Graham will handle it well.</p>&mdash; Larry Holder (@LarryHolder) <a href="https://twitter.com/LarryHolder/statuses/422836436774047744">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Brees: it&#39;s tough because of the finality of it...you know that this will be the last time this group of guys is together</p>&mdash; New Orleans Saints (@Saints) <a href="https://twitter.com/Saints/statuses/422835815610200064">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Mortensen&#39;s sources: &quot;If Rob Ryan wants to be a head coach, he&#39;ll have to cut his hair.&quot; (He was serious.) TELL THE MAN TO STICK IT, ROB!</p>&mdash; Fred Chicken (@moosedenied) <a href="https://twitter.com/moosedenied/statuses/422834598523842560">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>the Monday Morning Podcast for Monday the 13th is up!&#10;&#10;I ramble about the Golden Globes, NFL Football and Groupie... <a href="http://t.co/BATuywhrzW">http://t.co/BATuywhrzW</a></p>&mdash; Bill Burr (@billburr) <a href="https://twitter.com/billburr/statuses/422837905321893888">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Saints&amp;src=hash">#Saints</a> Colston said lateral was planned play - but obviously the execution didn&#39;t go as planned</p>&mdash; Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) <a href="https://twitter.com/MikeTriplett/statuses/422832918084345856">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Potential free agents like like Strief, de la Puente, McCown all expressed how they want to be back with the Saints.</p>&mdash; Larry Holder (@LarryHolder) <a href="https://twitter.com/LarryHolder/statuses/422831766613684224">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>I appreciate Colston for getting us that close and not mad at him at all. But 2 days later that play is pretty hilarious.</p>&mdash; Angry Who Dat (@angrywhodat) <a href="https://twitter.com/angrywhodat/statuses/422828234196008961">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Haven&#39;t talked to the media since August <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23whew&amp;src=hash">#whew</a></p>&mdash; Joseph Morgan (@jmthegreat) <a href="https://twitter.com/jmthegreat/statuses/422825637422694400">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Strief said he&#39;s never cleaned his locker out after a season with him potentially being a free agent. Not the fun part.</p>&mdash; Larry Holder (@LarryHolder) <a href="https://twitter.com/LarryHolder/statuses/422823200976695296">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Zach Strief said he&#39;s not sure where he could have put much more on tape than he did this year heading into potentially free agency.</p>&mdash; Larry Holder (@LarryHolder) <a href="https://twitter.com/LarryHolder/statuses/422822308713996288">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Payton said Saints have smart fans and they won&#39;t panic over Jimmy Graham&#39;s expiring contract.</p>&mdash; Larry Holder (@LarryHolder) <a href="https://twitter.com/LarryHolder/statuses/422819181285736448">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Sean Payton on Mark Ingram &quot;We saw him with a little bit more of a workload do some good things&quot; <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Saints&amp;src=hash">#Saints</a></p>&mdash; New Orleans Saints (@Saints) <a href="https://twitter.com/Saints/statuses/422818661405949952">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Payton: (on delay of game penalties). I&#39;m going to say most of them were my fault.</p>&mdash; WWL-TV Sports (@wwltvsports) <a href="https://twitter.com/wwltvsports/statuses/422816973035036672">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Payton: It takes a while (for the pain to go away). During the regular season you have a tough loss and then get on to the next game.</p>&mdash; WWL-TV Sports (@wwltvsports) <a href="https://twitter.com/wwltvsports/statuses/422817663912398848">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Payton: &quot;It was fantastic to be back (this year). To be around these players and enjoy what I am doing&quot; <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Saints&amp;src=hash">#Saints</a></p>&mdash; New Orleans Saints (@Saints) <a href="https://twitter.com/Saints/statuses/422816689516859392">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Saints&amp;src=hash">#Saints</a> Payton said last lateral was a play call - not a case of Marques Colston freelancing. Had seen something on tape they liked.</p>&mdash; Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) <a href="https://twitter.com/MikeTriplett/statuses/422816203510263808">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Saints&amp;src=hash">#Saints</a> Payton said development of team motivates and excites him going forward. Loved their response to adversity.</p>&mdash; Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) <a href="https://twitter.com/MikeTriplett/statuses/422815675871006720">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Saints&amp;src=hash">#Saints</a> Payton told team that buzzword they&#39;ll hear is &quot;window&quot; of opportunity. But as long as he&#39;s head coach plans to keep it slammed open</p>&mdash; Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) <a href="https://twitter.com/MikeTriplett/statuses/422815340880343041">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Payton: I read what one or two players said (about Graham). I don&#39;t concern myself about what an opposing player might say.</p>&mdash; WWL-TV Sports (@wwltvsports) <a href="https://twitter.com/wwltvsports/statuses/422814785223143424">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Thank you to this city and all of <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23WhoDatNation&amp;src=hash">#WhoDatNation</a> for believing in us and supporting us at every turn this season. Truly blessed!</p>&mdash; Jimmy Graham (@TheJimmyGraham) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheJimmyGraham/statuses/422843383535525888">January 13, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Saints News

Franchise-tag fight looming between Saints and Graham | ProFootballTalk
The Saints can keep Graham from leaving (or at least make it harder) at any point from February 17 through March 3, via the franchise tag. But if/when the Saints apply the tight end version of the tag, the stage will be set for a fight over whether Graham should be tagged as a receiver.

Forecast: Saints missed chance in Seattle, but future stays bright | wwltv.com New Orleans
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New Orleans Saints' snap counts: Divisional round - ESPN
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John DeShazier: Saints regained their place in NFL hierarchy with Sean Payton's return
Youthful team should be able to build off of successful season

Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham honored by Pro Football Writers of America
Jimmy Graham was named to the 2013 Pro Football Writers of America All-NFL team; Graham and Drew Brees named to All-NFC team

HEAR THE FANS: Calling Who Dat Nation! Cast Your Votes for the Saints!
HEAR THE FANS: Calling Who Dat Nation! Cast Your Votes for the Saints!

New Orleans Saints receive letters of encouragement: Musings by Marilou | NOLA.com
My daily journal topics are often met with moans and groans from the boys in my class - the ones who believe they are too cool to enjoy writing - but Jan. 7 was an exception.

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NFL News

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So much for that good idea, no Prime Time in Pro Bowl | ProFootballTalk
Oh, well. So much for a good traveshamockery. Pro Bowl captain Deion Sanders declared his intent to "SUIT UP" in the Pro Bowl earlier today, but it wasn't nearly as fun as we were hoping.

Sean Gilbert distributes his book to every NFL player | ProFootballTalk
In September, former NFL player Sean Gilbert announced his intention to run for the position of executive director of the NFL Players Association. He made his case for the job in a book entitled The $29 Million "Tip". Gilbert has now given a copy of the book to every player in the NFL.

New lawsuit could delay opening of Vikings stadium | ProFootballTalk
The Vikings will play two years at the University of Minnesota's open-air stadium. Unless it's three years. Via Jim Adams of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a legal challenge to the sale of bonds threatens to significantly delay the project.

Philip Rivers: "Crazy" to say Whisenhunt was distracted by job interviews | ProFootballTalk
Eyes in Detroit and Tennessee have been gazing in the direction of Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt for a while now, but there are more of them now that the Chargers season has come to an end and Whisenhunt is available to be hired as a head coach.