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Will Jimmy Graham Sign a Long-Term Contract or Play Under the Franchise Tag in 2014?

Below are answers to reader questions submitted Saturday. Special thanks to all those that participated. Feel free to continue the discussion on any of these topics in the comment section below.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

Does Jimmy take the $9.5 million deal or does he sit on the $7 million franchise tag for another year in hopes of a better deal. I presume we have not been, nor will we be offered two 1st rounders for a trade. Obscure possibility, he sits out a year in hopes of a mega-deal with another team? - Valmo

The true answer to your question is that I have no idea what the hell is going to happen. That being said, I've got an opinion of course. Sitting out an entire season just seems stupid and no team is interested in trading two first round picks for him. Both of those options don't seem realistic to me. The Saints can tag Graham for two straight years as per the CBA so he'd have to wait until 2016 before getting a long-term deal from another team. That's a long time to play in the NFL with no protection in the event of injury. Not the ideal situation for him or any NFL player. All of this means the Saints are in the driver's seat now so I still fully expect Graham to just sign a long-term deal in the $9.5 to $10 million per year range before the fast-approaching July 15th deadline. It's not like being the highest paid tight end in NFL history is the worst thing in the world. My guess would be that the holdup now isn't so much the total value of the contract but the length or how much of it is guaranteed.


How many WR's do you think we wind up keeping? - Robert S.

Last year the Saints kept five receivers after final cuts. But considering the talent and depth the Saints have at the position this year, I think they could realistically keep six out of the following seven receivers: Colston, Stills, Cooks, Meachem, Toon, Morgan, and Tanner. Even by doing that, it still leaves someone talented on the outside looking in. A young guy like Brandon Coleman probably gets the Payton treatment and stashed on IR his rookie season for a chance to learn the ropes by watching.


Have you considered Doing these in a live thread format? By this I mean, announce on say Thursday, that you'll have a live open "Who Dat Say" thread on say Saturday, and everyone can ask their questions, and we could have a real time answer and comment session. Could be an interesting Idea, especially in the Off-season. - Chad L.

I have considered doing that, but ultimately ruled against it for a couple of reasons. First of all, there's no way to manage all of the other comments coming in. My answers would most likely get lost among everyone else's chatter and things would get way off topic. It would be a mess. Also, many people who read the blog don't actually read the comment section. They catch a title in their feed or on Twitter, and click on it only if they find it interesting. Only a small fraction of our readers would actually be engaged in a post like that or find it useful.


Do we have a decent kicker? - Garrett H.

Yes, the Saints have a decent kicker. Shayne Graham is certainly a decent kicker. Is he a great kicker? I wouldn't say that. Is he he future of this franchise? Absolutely not. But he's certainly serviceable. He'll do in a pinch.


What's it like setting up player interviews? Do you go through the agents? Do they ask for money? How difficult are they to set up? - Xen C.

We've gotten interviews numerous ways. Back in the day, when I was much more enthusiastic, I would email player agents and sometimes get lucky. This really only works with lesser known players; you'll never get a guy like Drew Brees this way. I think I actually landed the Scott Shanle interview by tweeting him directly. Newly drafted players are also easier to land because they haven't yet been told what they can and can't do. Other times we'll get an interview through a PR person if they represent a player who is a spokesperson for a product. Those always come with the condition that we throw in a few questions about the product they're pushing. And sometimes there are players who just have cool agents or PR people who know fans are important and want their client to interact with us. It's really just a mixed bag. Money is never, ever, ever involved.