Thursday, May 8, 2014
Loomis: No issue with Graham grievance
By Mike Triplett
New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said there was no surprise and there were no hard feelings over Jimmy Graham's decision to fight his franchise tag designation.
Loomis said he wasn't exactly sure why Graham waited so long to file the grievance, asking to be considered a wide receiver instead of a tight end. But it was a move the Saints have anticipated for a while, and he said Graham's camp let him know it was coming last week.
"It's a negotiation," Loomis said during WWL Radio's pre-draft show. "Jimmy and his camp are trying to use every tool they can to get the best deal possible. No one should have hard feelings. It's the nature of these types of things. ...
"As I've said before, we love Jimmy Graham, we love what he's done for us. We want him to be part of our team. And hopefully we'll get something resolved sooner than later."
Other highlights from WWL's annual pre-draft show, which involves interviews with much of the coaching and scouting staffs:
- Loomis talked more about the different philosophies when it comes to trading up or down in the draft. He was asked about the theory that teams that trade down are better off because the draft is a crapshoot and they get more rolls of the dice.
"I don't necessarily subscribe to that," Loomis said, explaining that when you're trading up, it's for a specific player that you feel strongly about.
He said when you sit back and wait to see what comes to you, it can be even more of a crapshoot.
- Coach Sean Payton was asked about ESPN's Chris Mortensen speculation that the Saints might be interested in drafting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from his alma mater, Eastern Illinois, in the third round. Payton shot it down, saying it's "completely false." He stressed that he likes Garoppolo as a prospect, though.
- Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was asked about Jadeveon Clowney and cracked, "I hope he falls to us."
- Player personnel director Ryan Pace was asked about the possibility of being surprised by how much talent remains on the board at the start of Day 3 since this is such a deep class. And he said, "For us, that was Kenny Stills last year."
- Special teams coordinator Greg McMahon was asked if the team has candidates to replace Darren Sproles in the return game. He said he hates to use the word "replace" since Sproles is such a special player. But he stressed that the team is excited about third-year pro Travaris Cadet, who already showed himself to be an asset as a kickoff returner over his first two seasons.