Redskins tight end Logan Paulsen can sympathize with Jimmy Graham’s position, and he says he understands why the Saints’ star wants to be compensated as a wide receiver.
That said, Paulsen still believes pass catching tight ends like Graham are, in the end, still tight ends.
“The position is changing, and what they’re asking guys who play tight end to do is much different than what it was even 10 years ago,” Paulsen said Thursday on 106.7 The Fan’s ‘Grant and Danny’ show. “With a guy like Jimmy Graham, it’s a difficult situation because he is such a dynamic playmaker for them. I think he led the NFL in touchdowns [with 16 in 2013]. And you’d like a playmaker like that to be compensated accordingly.”
“But,” Paulsen added, “I do understand the NFL’s argument against him. Because, like in practice, I’m sure he practices with the tight ends. I’m sure when he lines up, they position it so that they get the tight end position out at the receiver position. They don’t move him. They don’t change his [designation in the formation]. They don’t move him from ‘Y’ to ‘X’, for example, or ‘Y to ‘Z’. He stays at the ‘Y’ and they formation it differently to get him in those situations.”
In case you missed it, an arbitrator ruled Wednesday that Graham is subject to the tight end franchise tag amount of $7.05 million, not the wide receiver amount of $12.3 million, despite his production and where he lines up on the field. Graham is currently weighing his next move.
“It’s difficult because you look at it and you say, ‘Oh, he’s lined up at receiver,” added Paulsen. “But I guarantee you he goes to tight end meetings. He goes with the tight ends during practice. And they might have him do some different stuff during practice, but there’s no doubt in my mind that they refer to him as a tight end."
Paulsen also mentioned his Washington teammate Jordan Reed, a pass catching tight end who also lines up in different spots.
“We have a really athletic guy on our team who I think could play receiver,’ Paulsen said. “But he’s called a tight end. He practices with the tight ends. And he comes to the tight end meetings. While I understand both sides of the argument, I think ultimately he is a tight end. He is [also] playmaker, which is what makes this thing so complicated.”
Paulsen added: “I think ultimately they did it because they’re trying to make kind of make it more definitive on who’s a tight end and who’s a receiver.”
This thing is indeed complicated.