Saints agree to terms with Graham

Graham is now the highest-paid tight end in NFL history. Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints announced Tuesday that they have agreed to terms with All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham on a multi-year contract. ESPN reports the deal is for four years and $40 million, including $21 million guaranteed.

Graham has averaged 90 catches for 1,169 yards and 12 touchdowns over the last three seasons.

The Saints used the franchise tag on him earlier this offseason, which eventually required an independent arbitrator to decide whether he should be considered a tight end, which would have paid him $7.035 million this season, or a wide receiver, which would have netted him $12.3 million. Despite lining up out wide or in the slot more often than along the offensive line, the arbitrator, Stephen Burbank, made the decision that Graham was a tight end. Graham appealed the decision, which would have gone in front of a three-member panel, but that will no longer be necessary now that he has agreed to terms on a new contract.

Franchise-designated players had a 4 p.m. deadline on Tuesday to sign contract extensions.