As expected, the Saints used the franchise tag on tight end Jimmy Graham. But unlike the Panthers and Greg Hardy -- who has already signed his franchise tender -- don't expect Graham to rush to put ink to paper for a one-year deal that will pay him $7 million as a tight end instead of the $12.3 million he'd like to get as a wide receiver.

Technically, yes, Graham is a tight end, but according to ProFootballFocus.com, Graham lined up at tight end 33 percent of the time in 2013, in the slot 45 percent of the time, and at wide receiver 21 percent of the time. So there is an argument to be made there. Saints general manager Mickey Loomis' response during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio (via PFT).: “I haven't been through this process. That remains to be seen.”

Still, the hope is that the two sides can agree on a long-term deal. When, however, is another matter.

“These negotiations are always a process, and Jimmy's been a great player for us for the last four years,” said Loomis.