Saints' Graham fined for goalpost dunks
Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints celebrates a touchdown during a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on August 15, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Stacy Revere / Getty / August 16, 2014)
Graham “dunked” the football over the goalpost crossbar twice and received a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty each time. The league banned his trademark celebration during the offseason, a result of one of Graham's dunks knocking the goalpost out of alignment in a November game against Atlanta.
Graham defended his celebrations by saying he's not hurting anyone. But he did acknowledge the new rule needs to be followed.
“For four years and however many touchdowns, I always dunked it,” Graham told NOLA.com. “I've just got to stop doing that now.”
While Graham has ignored the league mandate this preseason, his dunks have clearly irritated Saints head coach Sean Payton.
“I'm very upset,” Payton said after the Tennessee game in which the Saints were penalized 22 times. “Would you be upset' I was, particularly.”
Despite the fines and upsetting his coach, Graham has not promised to stop dunking.
Graham signed a new four-year contract in July after a highly-publicized battle over his designation as a wide receiver or tight end. His new deal guarantees nearly $21 million and could be worth up to $40 million