Saints to use tag on Jimmy Graham

Jimmy Graham franchise tag New Orleans Saints 2015 Super Bowl odds

NEW ORLEANS, LA (The Spread) - It would appear as though the Saints aren’t going to take the risk of allowing their best player (not named Drew Brees, that is) hit the open market.

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ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Saints will use their franchise tag on Jimmy Graham before Monday’s deadline. There was seemingly no way that New Orleans would allow Graham hit the open market where he would undoubtedly be the best player available and now this confirms it.

A few days ago FOX’s Mike Garafolo reported that the Saints and Graham remain “several million dollars per season” apart on long-term talks. Thus, it would make sense that the Saints will use their franchise tag on Graham, who is by far Drew Brees’ best offensive weapon. Two of the three teams that New Orleans plays on a yearly basis – Atlanta and Tampa Bay – would gladly hand over millions to use Graham in their offenses. But alas, Graham isn’t going anywhere.

After the Ravens signed Dennis Pitta to a new five-year contract, the Graham news weakens the tight end market as the NFL approaches March 11th, which is the first time teams can sign players from other teams. Jermichael Finley, Brandon Pettigrew, Garrett Graham, Brandon Myers, Scott Chandler and Andrew Quarless are the best available, although Dustin Keller and Fred Davis are also unsigned. But Keller is coming off a horrific injury and Davis has been banned indefinitely after he was arrested and charged with DUI in Fairfax County, Virginia last week.

According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Saints are now 22/1 to win the 2015 Super Bowl, same as they were last week. The Seahawks remain favored to win the NFL title next year at 11/2 odds, while the 49ers are 13/2 and the Patriots are 9/1. New Orleans is currently 14/1 to win the NFC Conference in 2015, behind Seattle (3/1), San Francisco (4/1), Green Bay (15/2) and Carolina (12/1).

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