The New Orleans Saints made tight end Jimmy Graham a contract offer that would pay him $9.5 million per season, according to NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk.

The deal would make Graham the highest-paid tight end in the NFL.

It is the same offer the team made before arbitrator Stephen Burbank ruled on Wednesday that Graham could be franchised as a tight end.

The Saints had franchised Graham as a tight end but Graham disputed the tag, arguing that he should be paid as a wide receiver.

The franchise tag for a wide receiver is $12.312 million while a tight end is tagged for $7.035 million.

Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots is currently the league's highest-paid tight end at an average of $9 million per season. He signed a six-year, $54 million deal in 2012.

The Saints' offer may include guaranteed money that is near the $23 million that San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis received with his contract in 2010. Davis is holding out for more money.

If Graham plays under the franchise tag for the next two seasons, he would make $15.5 million over that span.