After Further Review: Saints should use some, not all, leverage in Burbank ruling

Stephen Burbank got it right. Jimmy Graham is a tight end, always has been and always will be. No matter how you slice it, that's his position.

Burbank knows it. The Saints know it. Deep down, even Graham knows it.

But even though the Saints were victorious in the ruling, they shouldn't take advantage of all of the leverage gained.

Yes, the Saints now don't have to factor in wide receiver numbers when they get back to the negotiating table and won't be forced to cut players or restructure contacts by carrying the $12 million wide receiver franchise tag.

But technically, Burbank also gave the Saints a free pass to sign Graham to a two-year deal worth just over $15 million ( $7.05 million franchise tag in 2014, $8.46 million franchise tag in 2015).

They'd be fools to go that route.

Not only would it be well below Graham's market value, it would send the wrong message of being cheap with their premier talent and wreak of kicking a man when he's down.

The Saints know this. More importantly, they know Graham is just too valuable to this team. Graham is the best tight end in football and from the moment negotiations began, they've been willing to pay him as such.

That offer should still stand. Even with Wednesday's ruling.

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