Mickey Loomis: 'Jimmy Graham is a tight end'

New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis insists that Jimmy Graham is a tight end amid debate over whether he should instead be considered a wide receiver.

New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis has expressed his belief that Jimmy Graham is a tight end, not a wide receiver.

Loomis has said that the team are willing to use their franchise tag on Graham if necessary, which would open the debate as to what his position is.

According to ESPN, Graham lined up as a receiver on 67% of his snaps this season despite the Saints continuing to list him as a tight end.

The debate would be significant if Graham was to be given the franchise tag due to the different salaries between the two positions, which were $10.5m (£6.3m) for a wide receiver and $6m (£3.6m) for a tight end last year.

"Isn't that what we drafted him as? Isn't that what he made the Pro Bowl as? That's what we see him as, a tight end. That's what makes him valuable," Loomis told reporters.

"Look, the tight end has always been part of the passing game, and he's part of the running game. So he's part of both. So are receivers, so are running backs."

Loomis has already expressed his desire to tie Graham down to a long-term contract rather than using the franchise tag.

Jimmy Graham #80 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 27, 2013
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