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Payton: Challenge for Saints to sign Jimmy Graham


Sean Payton is confident the New Orleans Saints' brass will get a deal done with tight end Jimmy Graham -- as it did with Drew Brees -- but the coach understands the restraints of the salary cap.

"The most challenging part of your job as a coach, and I share that with Mickey or anyone that has been with an organization as long as we have been, going on year nine, is some of the tough decisions that have to be made with regards to your cap with the ability that you possibly can sign Jimmy Graham," Payton said on Fox Sports 1 Friday, via The Times-Picayune.

The Saints are projected to be around $12 million to $13 million above the predicted salary cap figure. Graham clearly is a priority, with the franchise tag promised as a last resort to keep him in New Orleans.

Payton understands, however, that paying Graham also will require the Saints to make some tough decisions on other players.

"It's very easy to say 'you are certainly going to get this done' but you have to understand there is a budget here," Payton said. "That's the challenging part. You are going to read these names that have already come across the ticker from Atlanta last week (the release of cornerback Asante Samuel and linebacker Stephen Nicholas) and we will be no different."

The Saints are expected to restructure a few contracts but, as with every team, some of the more expensive veteran players soon could find themselves on the chopping block.

In the latest "Around The League Podcast," the guys ponder the future in both Seattle and Denver and break down the teams that intrigue them most this offseason.


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