Cheer up, Jimmy Graham.
You may have lost your grievance arbitration, but you’re back in among the NFL’s Top 100 Players! What’s more, you’re in the Top 10!
The NFL Network unveiled leading vote-getters in player balloting for the 2014 list Tuesday, and Graham was among them.
That’s after he mysteriously fell from No. 14 for 2012 out of the rankings for 2013 despite being third among tight ends in receptions, second in yardage and tied for second in touchdowns.
The omission was generally dubbed the biggest snub on the list.
But after his first All-Pro season (again at tight end, not wide receiver as he had hoped to be classified for franchise status purposes), in which he had 89 receptions for 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns, Graham, a fifth-year pro from Miami, is again considered one of the elite players in the game.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees and native New Orleanian Peyton Manning also are in the Top 10.
The exact order will be announced Wednesday in a two-hour special that begins at 8 p.m.
Last year, Brees was No. 11 and Manning No. 2 behind Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson.
Peterson is back in the Top 10 for this year along with (in alphabetical order), New England quarterback Tom Brady, Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles, Cincinnati running back A.J. Green, Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson, Philadelphia running back LeSean McCoy and Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman.
Brees was the only Saint on last year’s Top 100. But despite an 11-5 season, Brees, Graham and defensive end Cameron Jordan (No. 99) are the only Saints on this year’s list.
However, NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling declared Pro Bowl safety Jarius Byrd, whom the Saints signed as a free agent, as the No. 4 snub.
Among other highlights of the 2014 list:
- Charles, Green, McCoy and Sherman are all newcomers to the Top 10.
- Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson is the highest-ranked LSU alum at No. 22, up from No. 32 in 2013. Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Kyle Williams is No. 32 after being unranked in 2013.
- Chicago running back Matt Forte is Tulane’s only representative on the list at No. 91. The Slidell High product was unranked last year.
- Green Bay running back Eddie Lacy of Dutchtown is No. 90.
- Detroit running back Reggie Bush is the only former Saint on the list at No. 55.
- The highest-ranked player from another NFC South team is Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly at No. 15. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is No. 24.
- There are no players from the Atlanta Falcons, the Saints’ opening-week opponent and archrival, on the list.
But there are three from Tampa Bay (defensive tackle Gerald McCoy at No. 28, linebacker Lavonte David at No. 35, and wide receiver Vincent Jackson at No. 44). The Buccaneers were 4-12 last year.