Jimmy Graham: 'It's official'

Tight end, Saints strike deal Aaron Wilson

Print This July 15, 2014, 09:01 AM EST

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The New Orleans Saints and star tight end Jimmy Graham beat an NFL deadline to strike a deal on a long-term contract.

It's a four-year, $40 million contract that includes $21 million guaranteed, according to ESPN.

"It's official," Graham wrote on Twitter. "I'm bleeding black and gold this morning! Thank you WhoDatNation for all the support."

The Saints had until 4 p.m. for Graham to agree to terms or he would have had to play this season under a $7.053 million franchise tender.

"The New Orleans Saints confirm that the team has agreed to terms on multi-year deal with TE Jimmy Graham," Saints spokesman Greg Bensel wrote on Twitter.

Now, the Saints and Graham have avoided that and have hammered out a long-term contract.

This follows Graham losing a grievance where he argued unsuccessfully that he should be classified as a wide receiver. On Monday, Graham filed an appeal of that ruling. At this point, the appeal should be regarded as moot other than for procedural reasons if it continues.

Follow me on Twitter: @RavensInsider

Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun

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