My story: With Gronkowski’s deal done, is it now time for the Saints to pay Jimmy Graham?

Is Jimmy Graham next? (Associated Press)

The Patriots opened up their pocketbook for star tight end Rob Gronkowski today, inking him to a six-year, $54-million extension. It could turn out to be a good deal for both sides. But with one of the game’s best tight ends locked up… what about the other?

It’s time for the Saints to lock up Jimmy Graham in similar fashion. The two will always be linked. And because Graham doesn’t have Gronkowski’s injury concerns, his contract could eclipse Gronk’s. Considering Gronk did that to Graham’s single-season yardage record last year, it’s only fair.

As of now, set to make just $540,000 and $570,000 over the next two years, Graham is badly underpaid. Not that Graham would say so. He’s too low-key for that. He’ll never have to prove his worth to his teammates, though.

He’s definitely deserved everything he’s got, the Pro Bowl and all his other accolades,” said Saints tackle Jermon Bushrod.Given he had a crazy situation growing up and took his life to the top, he’s a star. Hat’s off to the guy, because he worked extremely hard to get where he is today.”

Here is my story on Graham’s future on NFL.com.

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