Barring a seismic shift in their positions over the next week, the New Orleans Saints and tight end Jimmy Graham will conduct a $5 million debate starting June 17. The two sides will argue whether Graham should be deemed a tight end or a wide receiver under the franchise tag rules, which pay a player a one-year salary that averages the top five annual incomes at the position heading into next season.

Per the NFL management council, which represents the league's 32 teams, the Saints will contend that Graham is a tight end, which would earn him $7 million for the 2014 season if the two sides don't work out a long-term deal by July 15.

Graham, despite his Twitter profile, and his camp argue Graham's usage in the Saints' offense should translate to being paid like a wide receiver, which would bring a heftier $12.3 million price tag in 2014 under the franchise tag rules.

The chief argument benefitting Graham entering the grievance hearing is that he lined up as a "wide receiver" 67 percent of the snaps in 2013 and as an in-line tight end the rest of the time, according to ESPN and Pro Football Focus.

Teams treated Graham as if he were a wideout in some situations last season by placing a cornerback on him in pass coverage. But despite opponents defending Graham as if he were a wideout, no personnel executive or front-office type would dare consider him a true wide receiver.

A top-flight wide receiver is typically covered by a cornerback on every play.