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Arbitrator Rules Jimmy Graham's Franchise Tag Status To Be Tight End

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The suspense is finally over...or is it? Graham and his agent may appeal this ruling. For now at least, Graham's franchise tag status is tight end.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

NFL arbitrator Stephen Burbank has officially ruled Jimmy Graham as a tight end.

Hopefully this means the Saints and Graham can finally come up with an appropriate salary figure and get a long-term deal complete before the July 15th deadline.

Stephen Burbank is apparently a liar, because he said his ruling on the Jimmy Graham franchise tag would come no sooner and no later than Thursday. Today is Wednesday.

Mike Triplett has more on the ruling.

Although Graham lined up either in the slot or out wide on 67 percent of his snaps last year, Burbank agreed with the New Orleans Saints and the NFL Management Council, who argued that the tight end position has always involved a combination of splitting out wide to run pass routes and staying in to block -- especially in today's modern passing offenses.

Graham and the NFL Players Association can appeal the decision within 10 days to a three-member appeals panel. There is no immediate word on whether or not they plan to do so.

In the meantime, the Saints will not have to increase their one-year tender offer of $7.053 million to Graham. The receiver tender would have cost them $12.132 million.

Here is what the Twittersphere is saying: