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Jimmy Graham Franchise Tag Deadline, Long-Term Contract Watch

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Today is the day we've been worried about having to worry about. And so... we wait.

Chris Graythen

Today is the culmination of events that were set into motion on March 1st, when the Saints used their non-exclusive franchise tag on tight end Jimmy Graham.

Graham and the Saints have until 4:00 p.m. New York time today to agree on and sign a multi-year contract or extension. Otherwise, Graham will be forced to play the 2014 season under a one-year franchise tag deal.

Yes, that's right, both parties have had four and a half months to work out a long-term contract and yet here we are in the final hours with nothing to show. Pathetic really. But that's a diatribe for another time.

Yesterday, Graham filed his last-minute appeal of NFL arbitrator Stephen Burbank's ruling that officially labels Graham as a tight end for franchise tag purposes. But if a long-term deal is reached before today's deadline, the appeal will be dropped. Not that I think Graham has a chance in overturning the original decision anyway.

Of course, Graham could choose to simply sit out the entire 2014 season. But that would be just plain silly.

The good news is that a long-term deal seems likely, according to NFL insider Adam Schefter who said yesterday that both sides were close to finalizing a contract.

And so, we wait.

We'll let this post serve as an open thread throughout the day for all Jimmy Graham-related chatter, news, and updates. Feel free to throw out your predictions and possible contract terms in the comment section below. Meanwhile, you can stare at the countdown clock of doom below.