Jordan Cameron is taking no chances.
Burbank himself admitted the argument was about money. The ruling cost Graham $5.3 million if he signs his franchise tag, and probably more money in a long-term deal. Graham had argued that because he lined up in so many different spots in the offense and was successful doing so that he should be considered a receiver. The team disagreed.
Burbank wrote in his ruling as he listed the facts of the arguments that Graham referred to himself in social media as a tight end. But in explaining his decision, Burbank never attributed it to the bio, and even said the fact that the Saints listed Graham as a tight end did not affect his thinking.
Given the ruling on Graham, it’s highly doubtful that Cameron would ever be considered a receiver. Cameron can be a free agent after the season and he is a glaring candidate for the franchise tag for the precise reason that Graham wanted to be considered a receiver: The tight end dollar figure is lower and more palatable to the team.
As offenses evolve and change, the ruling could affect many players down the road. Teams are looking more and more for the hybrid tight end, the guy who can run and catch and block. The guy like Cameron.
But teams would argue that this is not a new development, that as far back as Kellen Winslow Sr. tight ends were lining up in different spots and used creatively.
Graham’s situation still could help Cameron when he becomes a free agent after the season. If Graham and the Saints work out a long-term deal, it would probably set records for the tight end position. That would increase the franchise tag number, though it would still not bring it to the level of receiver money.
Cameron’s Twitter bio change was noticed by ESPN’s Sports Business reporter Darren Rovell, who tweeted about it.
The good-natured Cameron took it in a good-natured way.
Thought no one would notice that minor change in the bio. Thanks @darrenrovell for calling me out.
— Jordan Cameron (@jordancameron) July 2, 2014