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Saints TE Jimmy Graham announces new deal on Twitter 07.15.14 at 9:54 am ET
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Whether Jimmy Graham lines up at tight end or wide receiver, it appears he’ll be catching passes for the Saints for a long time.

Graham announced on Twitter Tuesday morning that he and the Saints have agreed to a new long-term contract extension well before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline.

The Saints followed with a similar announcement shortly after.

Graham’s new deal comes two weeks after an arbiter ruled that, for franchise-tag purposes, Graham was a tight end, meaning he would make $5.3 million less than he would if he were paid as a receiver.

Graham filed an appealed before the Monday deadline. As of Monday, the Saints reportedly offered him a $9.5 million-per-year deal that would make him the NFL’s highest paid tight end.

The terms of the deal have yet to be announced.

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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Clippers reportedly pursue Paul Pierce 07.03.14 at 7:50 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Cardinals at Giants, 3:30 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Yankees at Twins, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
College baseball: Home run derby, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 8 a.m. (ESPN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Paul Pierce might be on the move again. The former Celtics star, who was traded to the Nets last offseason, reportedly has been talking to Clippers coach Doc Rivers about a reunion in Los Angeles.

According to ESPN.com, Pierce, a free agent, likely would move via a sign-and-trade, even though Los Angeles has available its midlevel exception of $5.3 million.

It’s speculated that a trade could involve the Clippers parting with Jared Dudley, Matt Barnes and 2013 first-round pick Reggie Bullock.

MASHUP POLL: Should the Celtics attempt to sign Paul Pierce?

  • No, not worth the investment and/or not a good fit with this young team (55%, 227 Votes)
  • Yes, bring him back and let him finish his career as a Celtic (45%, 188 Votes)

Total Voters: 411

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However, the Clippers are one of the teams courting premier free agents LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, so they’re hesitant to make any major moves until they know their status regarding those two stars.

The Nets this week parted ways with coach Jason Kidd, who helped convince Pierce and Kevin Garnett to accept the trade to Brooklyn last year. Lionel Hollins was hired as his replacement Wednesday. Garnett has not yet announced if he will return for the final year of his deal (worth $12 million).

The Celtics reportedly had interest in sending Pierce and/or Garnett to the Clippers last year, but the NBA prohibited any such move because of Rivers’ involvement.

There also have been rumors that Pierce would consider a return to the Celtics.

— The Rockets made their push for Carmelo Anthony on Wednesday, including putting up billboards in and around Toyota Center with Anthony pictured in a Rockets No. 7 uniform.

However, the team already has a No. 7: Jeremy Lin, who stole the spotlight from Anthony when he became a phenom with the Knicks midway through the 2011-12 season. It’s been speculated that Houston would have to trade Lin — who has a nearly $8 million cap hit — in order to fit Anthony’s contract.

In typical Lin fashion, the former Harvard star relied on his faith to pull him through this latest controversy, tweeting: Luke 6:29 – If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.

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Read More: Carmelo Anthony, doc rivers, Jeremy Lin, Jimmy Graham
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Forbes values Bruins No. 5 in NHL at $348M 11.29.12 at 7:57 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NFL: Saints at Falcons, 8:20 p.m. (NFL Network)
College football: Louisville at Rutgers, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Spurs at Heat, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Nuggets at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Kentucky at Notre Dame, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: South Carolina at St. John’s, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Marquette at Florida, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Seton Hall at LSU, 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

‘™¦ Forbes magazine released its annual list of NHL team values, and it shows that the Maple Leafs are the first hockey team to break the $1 billion mark. The Bruins check in at No. 5, worth $348 million. The list also demonstrates hockey’s inequality, as the top five teams (Maple Leafs, Rangers, Canadiens, Blackhawks and Bruins) are valued at an average of $605 million, while the five least valuable (Hurricanes, Islanders, Blue Jackets, Coyotes and Blues) are worth an average of $145 million.

The study indicates that the three most profitable teams accounted for 83 percent of the league’s income, while 13 of the 30 teams lost money. Even if the salary cap were lowered to 50 percent and subsidies from high-revenue teams to their counterparts were boosted $50 million to $200 million, some of the less-successful teams would need to go deep into the playoffs to assure themselves of a profitable year.

The story quotes an industry analyst as suggesting the league move some of its southernmost teams to places such as Quebec, Seattle and Portland, Ore.

“The Sun Belt has had plenty of time prove that the viability doesn’t work,” said Drew Dorweiler of Montreal-based Dartmouth Partners.

‘™¦ The Saints and Falcons, who meet Thursday night in Atlanta in an NFC South showdown, have a growing feud, and the intensity of it was in evidence Wednesday night. According to tweets from Saints players, the bus picking them up at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport had eggs thrown at it.

Tweeted backup quarterback Chase Daniel: Wow, as we’re boarding buses on the Tarmac @ Atlanta airport, we start getting eggs thrown @ us by airport workers! Guess they do hate us!

Added tight end Jimmy Graham: Bus just got egged after landing in ATL by the ramp workers. Classy! “RISE Up” smh

Some Saints players didn’t seem too offended. Tweeted linebacker Will Herring: First time my bus has been egged by opposing fans! Tomorrow should be fun!! #WhoDatNation

And wide receiver Joseph Morgan: How do eggs make people mad? Cool and hilarious prank #childhood #memories

‘™¦ Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh escaped a suspension for his kick to the groin of Texans quarterback Matt Schaub on Thanksgiving, but on Wednesday he was fined $30,000. Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league didn’t suspend Suh because it couldn’t determine intent, but the fine was for unnecessary roughness.

Suh, who has a history of violent play, was on the ground when he stuck out his foot and made contact with Schaub. He insists he did nothing wrong.

“I was dragged to the ground,” Suh said. “A lot of things happen to me. It’s part of the game.”

Added Suh: “It’s a crazy play, it’s one that unfortunately happened. I didn’t even realize it until the end of the game, when I see my Twitter feed, I see my friends telling me about it. Other than that, I can’t do much more about it. I was being dragged to the ground and my foot inadvertently hit the man. But it’s over with and I am moving forward and getting ready to play the Colts.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Nov. 29, 1965, the Red Sox lost three players in the Rule 5 draft: Gary Geiger to the Braves, Bob Heffner to the Indians, and which minor leaguer to the Cardinals who would return years later to manage the Sox?

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Read More: Chase Daniel, Jimmy Graham, Ndamukong Suh, Roger Goodell