Arizona Cardinals: Jermaine Gresham Signs Contract


The sixth-year tight end played his first five seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals

The search for a veteran tight end has come to an end for the Arizona Cardinals.  They signed free agent tight end Jermaine Gresham to a one-year contract on Friday afternoon.  He had visited the Cardinals earlier this week but left without an offer.

Usually players that have left in the past without an offer after a visit, don’t return to sign a deal with the Cardinals.  Gresham was said to have had interest from the New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders, Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.

Gresham has 280 receptions for 2,722 yards 24 touchdowns in his short five-year career so far.  Compare that to Rob Housler who had just one touchdown in his first four seasons in Arizona.  Yes, this is an upgrade.  The biggest question about Gresham is his health.  He is coming off of a back injury.

Apparently though the Cardinals were satisfied with what they saw out of his physical and that is good enough for me.  Gresham immediately becomes the number one tight end on the roster.  His experience will greatly help out tight ends Darren Fells and Troy Niklas.  Niklas himself has also been fighting the injury bug and played in very limited time in his rookie season.

The Cardinals also were said to have been interested in former Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley earlier this week but after one day that rumor went by the way side.  Gresham was clearly the better play here though.  Cooley, who hasn’t played since 2012, had not been a productive tight end in almost five years.

In 2014 alone, Gresham had 62 receptions for 460 yards and five touchdowns.  No one on the Cardinals staff came even close to those numbers for a tight end.  If Gresham can stay healthy, this signing will give the Cardinals the extra weapon that has been missing from their offense over the last several seasons.

I love the risk the Cardinals are taking here.  They are only singing him to a one-year contract.  If he doesn’t produce or can’t stay healthy, they only have him for a year but if he does come up to be a productive member of the 2015 Cardinals offense, then I would look for a longer deal to be made after the season.  For now, I love the move.