Saints TE Jimmy Graham will get the franchise tag

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With the March 3 deadline approaching, it appears one key member of the New Orleans Saints will receive the player-dreaded franchise tag.

According to a report from ESPN, the Saints will designate tight end Jimmy Graham with the franchise tag. From there, it remains to be seen what the NFL decides to do with it.

It will be up to the league to determine whether he should be tagged as a tight end or a receiver. If the NFL determines he'll get the franchise tag as a tight end, Graham's representives are expected to file a grievance since he spent the majority of his snaps as a receiving option split off of the offensive line in 2013.

The Saints are hopeful he's tagged as a tight end, because there is an estimated $5 million difference between the two positions.

Though Graham is expected to be tagged by Monday, that doesn't mean he and the Saints can't continue to negotiate a long-term deal. The deadline for players to be forced to play the season under the tag is July 15.

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.

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