Andrew Brandt Talks about Jimmy Graham, and Hybrid Player’s in the NFL
ESPN and Sports Illustrated MMQB contributor Andrew Brandt joins Jeff Thurn on Wedneday’s edition of Overtime on ESPN 99.1.
Before working in the media, Brandt (@adbrant) served as the Green Bay Packers Vice President from 1999 to 2008.
Jimmy Graham's request to be a wide receiver under the NFL's franchise tag rules failed, and he was ruled as a tight end. Thurn asks Brandt if there are more hybrid players in the NFL that could question the ruling?
"You got to look at guys like a Julius Thomas or even guys coming into the league right now. (Eric) Ebron in Detroit, you talk about the guy Philly took last year, (Zach) Ertz. I mean I guess there are some guys out there that you could come up with. I think what the arbitrator ruling was all about was maybe there are really positions anymore because they really said that whatever you call him, he lines up away from the tackle box. That's why a tight end does. So, now we are going to get into the situation of how do you define these positions? I think it is going to come up with the tag issue on cornerback/safety, and defensive end and linebacker. We are getting into more situational football and more hybrid positioning. Especially for great athletes like Graham, who was a basketball player. And we will see where it goes. I think the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) will have different definitions of franchise tags, but that's a few years off."
Brandt discusses how the franchise rule tag for hybrid players might alter future CBA's:
"Yeah, the tough thing about bargaining is you have to pick your spots. I respect the union, and I talked to them about this and what their answer about the franchise tag is, 'hey it only affects 10-15 players.' We're not going to focus on it, and are going to press other issues. The problem is it affects more than the 10-15 guys because now Jimmy Graham has set a ceiling for tight ends and everyone negotiating is going to be under that. So, I think the bigger picture it affects more than this and the franchise tag has to be a priority. The question is a lot of things are going to be on the table as well."
The NFL's CBA doesn't expire until 2020.
To hear more of Brandt’s interview with Thurn, listen below:
Catch Thurn daily on ESPN 99.1 in Sioux Falls from 3 to 6 p.m.
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