NFL system arbitrator Stephen Burbank took less than a week to issue his rulings in his first two cases involving the league.
Not with the Jimmy Graham case, however.
None of the parties involved in Graham’s grievance case over whether he should be classified a tight end or a wide receiver had any news Wednesday, a week after Graham’s hearing was conducted in a Metairie hotel, although NFLPA communications director Carl Francis said it shouldn’t be too much longer.
“With the signing deadline (July 15) coming up, everybody would like to get this part of it settled,” he said.
If Graham wins his argument, he will be eligible for the wide receiver franchise amount of $12.3 million as opposed to $7 million as a tight end. Both figures would be applied to the Saints’ salary cap, although the team can sign him to any figure it wishes before July 15 when the franchise tag would kick in.
Graham was an All-Pro tight end last season, although he contends he lined up in the slot 67 percent of the time, which would make him a wide receiver.
Other than applying the franchise tag, the Saints could allow Graham to become an unrestricted free agent, but that is not expected. Neither have they indicated any likelihood of trading him.
Saints spokesman Greg Bensel said via e-mail Wednesday that the team did not know when Burbank, a Penn Law School professor, would be making his ruling. Jimmy Sexton, Graham’s agent, did not respond to requests for comment. Graham’s Twitter account has been silent since Tuesday and has no comment on the case since the hearing.
The NFL Management Council, which handled the hearing for the league and the Saints, has not commented since the hearing ended as well.
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