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    Here's your chance to win tickets to the 2015 Daytona 500. Entering is easy, simply fill out the entry form included. More>>

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    News Now: Media General CEO talks about his career, future for company Video included

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    In December, LIN Media and Media General merged to create the second largest broadcasting company in the country. The former CEO and President of LIN Media, Vince Sadusky, was placed at the helm of the new and improved Media General. More>>

    Bill Schifino, Jr talks about being President-Elect of the Florida Bar Video included

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    Earlier this month, Bill Schifino, Jr. was announced as the 2015-16 President-Elect of the Florida Bar. Schifino comes to this position with a strong resume. More>>

    Trio sets off on 900 mile trek across Florida Video included

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    Joe Guthrie, Mallory Lykes Dimmitt, and Carlton Ward Jr. are embarking on a journey of a lifetime. The trio are setting off on a 70-day, 900 mile trek across the state???without any automobiles.
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    How this guide dog helps one blind triathlete chase her Paralympic dream

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    Every time Paralympic hopeful Amy Dixon makes it to the end of another grueling triathlon, she knows her trusty companion will be waiting for her at the finish line. Sixteen years after she lost vision in her right eye, which she says she viewed as "a death sentence" at the time,  More>>

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    LEGOLAND Florida photo LEGOLAND Florida photo
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    8 fun things to do in Tampa Bay this weekend | January 17-18 Video included

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    See 8 fun things happening this weekend in Tampa Bay!
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    Two extravagant comedies, "Birdman" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel," tied for the most Oscar nominations Thursday morning with nine nods each, including best picture. More>>

    109th Tarpon Springs Epiphany: Schedule of Events, Road Closures

    TARPON SPRINGS EPIPHANY CELEBRATION 2011 photo by Sue Thomas TARPON SPRINGS EPIPHANY CELEBRATION 2011 photo by Sue Thomas
    Updated:

    The 109th Epiphany celebration begins Monday, January 5 with the Arrival of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios and the blessing of the fleet and continues on Tuesday, January 6 with Epiphany Services, Procession, Cross Dive and Glendi Celebration.  More>>

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    Is Jimmy Graham a tight end?
    Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Impending free agent Eric Decker recently came out and said it's not about the money.

    With all the dough athletes make these days, it's refreshing to hear Decker say something like that.

    Of course, not everyone shares Decker's opinion.

    For Jimmy Graham, it's DEFINITELY about the money. So much so that he's willing to give up the title of "league's best tight end" to make a few extra bucks.

    That's right. Graham is turning his back on the entire tight end brotherhood for the sake of capitalism.

    With Graham set to become a free agent, the Saints are toying with the idea of giving him the franchise tag. That would pay Graham about $6.7 million IF the league classifies him as a tight end.

    I say "if" because there is another option. Graham and his reps are fully prepared to argue that the 27-year-old is actually, despite what we've been told for the last four years, a wide receiver.

    This betrayal actually makes sense financially for Graham, who would receive roughly $11.5 million if he's tagged as a wide receiver. That's almost nine times what Graham made in 2013 ($1.323 million).

    But is Graham's argument valid? Surprisingly, yes. According to ESPN Stats and Information, Graham lined up as a tight end on only 33.2 percent of his snaps last season. The rest of the time he was either out wide or working out of the slot.

    If Graham is only being used as a tight end one third of the time, why haven't the Saints cut him a $11.5 million check already?

    Well, you see it's not that simple. If Graham isn't a tight end, then neither are Dennis Pitta and Antonio Gates. Both of them lined up at wideout on more than 50 percent of their snaps last season. In total, 11 players carried this distinction in 2013.

    So in theory, 11 players could make the same argument as Graham. I know the NFL brings in a lot of money but we can't pay ALL these guys like they're wideouts, can we?

    Luckily for owners, this dilemma doesn't come into play very often. Since franchise-tagging began in 2007, only five of the 80 players tagged have been tight ends. And none of those names (Fred Davis, Marcedes Lewis, L.J. Smith, Bo Scaife and Dallas Clark) carry as much weight as Graham's.

    Now let's pretend the league says, "You know what? You're right, Jimmy. From now on, we're calling you a wide receiver. Never again will we classify you as a tight end. Here's $11.5 million for your troubles."

    Do I think this will actually happen? Of course not. Jared Cook made the same argument last year and the league laughed in his face. Ultimately Cook wasn't franchised but if he had been, he almost certainly would have been paid like a tight end.

    But for fantasy purposes, it's an interesting possibility to consider.

    Fantasy football is not like other sports where position eligibility influences strategy. Aside from a few novelties like Dexter McCluster and Joe Webb, the vast majority of NFL players are limited to just one position. So if Graham does become a wide receiver, it's unlikely he'd be able to hold on to his tight end eligibility.

    If we're going by last year's stats, Graham outscored the second-best tight end, Vernon Davis, by 55 fantasy points (standard scoring). That's like being alone on top of Mount Everest.

    But if we drop Graham into the wide receiver pool, his stats lose some of their luster. Graham's 211 points in 2013 would make him the fourth-highest scorer among wide receivers. That puts him behind Josh Gordon, Demaryius Thomas and Calvin Johnson and just ahead of Cincinnati wide receiver A.J. Green.

    We see this scenario unfold a lot in baseball. Robinson Cano is probably not the third-best player in MLB. But because the difference between him and the next best second baseman is so enormous, you'll see him drafted third overall in many fantasy leagues.

    Same goes for Graham, who was taken sixth in a mock draft done by CBS fantasy experts earlier this month. A.J. Green's numbers are comparable to Graham's but because he's a wide receiver, he wasn't drafted until 21st overall. It's too early to know what the auction prices will be for these two players but certainly Graham would take a hit if he loses his tight end eligibility.

    Perhaps I'm not giving the other tight ends in the league enough credit. Graham's placement as a top-ten pick seems accurate, though I'd venture sixth might be a little too high (I'd take Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and possibly Marshawn Lynch ahead of him). Still, Rob Gronkowski and Julius Thomas both carry third-round value while Vernon Davis could make sense as early as round four. With that kind of talent available, it's a stretch to say tight end won't be a deep position next year.

    But seriously, New Orleans. Pay the man. This is Mount Everest we're talking about.




    Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Jesse Pantuosco at jpantuosco@sportsnetwork.com.

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    Welcome to Great38 Tampa Bay WTTA-TV/DT - WFLA News Channel 8

    Welcome to Great38 Tampa Bay WTTA-TV/DT - WFLA News Channel 8

      Great 38: Win tickets to Daytona 500

      Updated:

      Here's your chance to win tickets to the 2015 Daytona 500. Entering is easy, simply fill out the entry form included. More>>

      • Great Stuff

      News Now: Media General CEO talks about his career, future for company Video included

      Updated:

      In December, LIN Media and Media General merged to create the second largest broadcasting company in the country. The former CEO and President of LIN Media, Vince Sadusky, was placed at the helm of the new and improved Media General. More>>

      Bill Schifino, Jr talks about being President-Elect of the Florida Bar Video included

      Updated:

      Earlier this month, Bill Schifino, Jr. was announced as the 2015-16 President-Elect of the Florida Bar. Schifino comes to this position with a strong resume. More>>

      Trio sets off on 900 mile trek across Florida Video included

      Updated:

      Joe Guthrie, Mallory Lykes Dimmitt, and Carlton Ward Jr. are embarking on a journey of a lifetime. The trio are setting off on a 70-day, 900 mile trek across the state???without any automobiles.
      More>>

      How this guide dog helps one blind triathlete chase her Paralympic dream

      Updated:

      Every time Paralympic hopeful Amy Dixon makes it to the end of another grueling triathlon, she knows her trusty companion will be waiting for her at the finish line. Sixteen years after she lost vision in her right eye, which she says she viewed as "a death sentence" at the time,  More>>

      Legoland Florida hotel to open in spring; built for kids

      LEGOLAND Florida photo LEGOLAND Florida photo
      Updated:

      Legoland Florida Hotel will welcome its first guests a month earlier than previously expected.During an announcement Thursday, Legoland executives announced May 15 as the revised opening date.  More>>

      3 rhinos escape from safari zoo, return safely Video included

      Updated:

      Three rhinoceroses escaped from their site at a safari zoo in Israel this week, NBC reported.  More>>

      VIRAL VIDEO: Bossy 4-year-old girl feeds 6 pit bull dogs

      Little Girl Controls Pit Bull Dogs | Future Dog Trainer, Jukin Video on YouTube Little Girl Controls Pit Bull Dogs | Future Dog Trainer, Jukin Video on YouTube
      Updated:

      A video of a very authoritative 4-year-old girl feeding six very obedient pit pulls in the middle of a kitchen has gone viral on the web and is prompting a heated debate about the pit bull breed.
      More>>

      8 fun things to do in Tampa Bay this weekend | January 17-18 Video included

      Updated:

      See 8 fun things happening this weekend in Tampa Bay!
      More>>

      'Birdman,' 'Budapest' top Oscar nominations with 9 nods each

      Updated:

      Two extravagant comedies, "Birdman" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel," tied for the most Oscar nominations Thursday morning with nine nods each, including best picture. More>>

      109th Tarpon Springs Epiphany: Schedule of Events, Road Closures

      TARPON SPRINGS EPIPHANY CELEBRATION 2011 photo by Sue Thomas TARPON SPRINGS EPIPHANY CELEBRATION 2011 photo by Sue Thomas
      Updated:

      The 109th Epiphany celebration begins Monday, January 5 with the Arrival of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios and the blessing of the fleet and continues on Tuesday, January 6 with Epiphany Services, Procession, Cross Dive and Glendi Celebration.  More>>

      Out and About
      Powered by WorldNow

      200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

      Telephone: 813.228.8888
      Fax: 813.225.2770
      Email: news@wfla.com

      Can???t find something?
      Powered by WorldNow
      All content © Copyright 2000 - 2015 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.