The clock is ticking on Jimmy Graham.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport noted Monday that the New Orleans Saints have until Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET to sign their All-Pro tight end to a long-term contract.
If the sides don't hammer out a deal in time, Graham has the option to either play out the year under his $7.053 million franchise tag or sit out the season.
Rapoport noted earlier this month that talks started at "ground zero" following arbitrator Stephen Burbank's ruling that Graham is indeed a tight end after the pass-catcher lobbied to be tagged -- for much more moola -- as a wide receiver.
Rapoport also reported that Graham has until midnight to file an appeal on the ruling, per a league source.
We still expect the sides to reach a lucrative long-term pact that will make Graham the highest-paid player at his position.
There's hope from both sides that Tuesday's deadline will spur action, but until that happens, Graham's status with the Saints remains in flux.