Arizona Cardinals: Hosting TE Jermaine Gresham This Week
By Erich Becker
With a lack of depth and experience on the roster, and the Seahawks upgrading, could the Arizona Cardinals make a play for their own tall, experienced tight end?
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported today that the Arizona Cardinals will host tight end Jermaine Gresham this week after the free-agent left New Orleans with an offer on the table but the desire to make a few more visits and pick a team of his choosing. The Saints, fresh from trading tight end Jimmy Graham in the offseason to NFC West foes Seattle Seahawks, would be looking to fill the void.
Gresham is coming off of a down year, marred with injuries eventually resulting in back surgery for the 27-year-old out of Oklahoma. The former Bengal played in 15 games last year, catching 62 balls for 460 yards and 5 touchdowns. The average of 7.4 yards per catch is impressive from a tight end and would work well on the Cardinals who are looking for a weapon to use at tight end, who can block, but make defenses drop a man in coverage and single team John Brown, Larry Fitzgerald or Michael Floyd on the outside or in the slot.
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Jermaine Gresham is big, 6’5” at 260 pounds he’s able to pound his way to catches, even as a viable number two TE on a good team with strong receiving corps, such as the Arizona Cardinals, he’ll get his looks and be someone defenses need to keep in mind when play calling and game planning.
Gresham has previously been linked to the Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns earlier in the offseason with the Saints, Cardinals and other teams in play for Ardmore, OK product as training camps are set to begin at the end of the month.
Are the Arizona Cardinals serious contenders? In the minds of fans of the team, yes, without a viable starting tight end who can block and catch, a serious weapon is missing from Bruce Arians attack. John Carlson retired earlier in the offseason and behind former draft pick Troy Niklas (who can’t stay healthy) and Darren Fells, a 6-7, 281 pound blocking weapon, there isn’t much behind them in experience, flash or playmaking ability, from what we’ve seen so far.
It remains to be seen what value the Cardinals place on Gresham, or what he values himself at. New Orleans offer couldn’t have been a showstopper for him to leave town without a deal and explore other options with a reported deal on the table.
As some added spice, the Bengals will make a journey to the desert and play the Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on November 22, that should give Gresham an incentive to play against his old team, should he be looking at some playful payback.
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