One of the issues regarding Jimmy Graham’s fight with the Saints over whether he is a receiver or not had to do with him self-identifying as a tight end on his Twitter profile. I don’t know how much that factored into the fact that he was ultimately ruled a tight end, but Jordan Cameron decided not to take any chances.
Yesterday he changed his twitter profile to read “Pro Bowl pass catcher for the Browns”
Now, it’s easy for me to call it silly because I wasn’t the one who had $5.3 million on the line like Jimmy Graham did — wide receiver franchise tags go for just over $12 million and tight ends go for just over $7 mil. Still, I do think it’s silly. Jimmy Graham is a tight end. He’s one of the trailblazing tight ends with the ability to re-define the position and yes, his franchise tender amount is wildly low for a player of his production. The mere fact that he’s deserving of a lot more money, however, doesn’t make him a wide receiver.
Nor does Jordan Cameron’s desire for more money — even money comparable to a top wide receiver — make him a wide receiver. I think both players should be rewarded for their production and get contracts commensurate with their value, but gaming the system and pretending that these tight ends are actually wide receivers is just insulting intellectually.
If the game continues to evolve this way, they should get their union to negotiate the next collective bargaining agreement to put all pass-catchers — tight ends and wide receivers — in the same class for the rules of the franchise tag. That’s the way the offensive line works already where they don’t delineate between left tackles, centers or guards.