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Saints place franchise tag on TE Jimmy Graham

Saints place franchise tag on TE Jimmy Graham

New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) prepares to stop Atlanta Falcons free safety Thomas DeCoud (28) during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, in Atlanta. Photo: Associated Press/AP Photo/John Bazemore

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The New Orleans Saints have placed their franchise tag on Jimmy Graham in order to protect the club’s rights to its star tight end through next season.

The move means Graham, barring a holdout, will almost certainly play for New Orleans next season for no less than the tight end franchise tag of $7.04 million.

It is also possible, under the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, that Graham could be tagged as a receiver because of how often he lined up at that spot. That would carry a tag of $12.3 million.

The move, confirmed by team spokesman Greg Bensel, was expected as the two sides attempt to work out a long-term deal.

Afterward, Graham also wrote on his Twitter account, “Confirming it’s officially Franchisefriday… TAG … I guess I’m it.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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