Jermaine Gresham reportedly offered contract from New Orleans Saints
According to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the New Orleans Saints have offered Jermaine Gresham a contract. However, the free agent tight end still plans on visiting other teams, including the Arizona Cardinals, who the Saints face on the road in the opening game to their 2015 season.
Schefter’s tweet continues:
"Bengals free-agent TE Jermaine Gresham will the visit Arizona Cardinals this week, per source. Saints already have offered the 27-year-old Gresham, who is coming off back surgery, a contract. Gresham also has other visits planned the next two weeks and is expected to sign with a team before camp, per source. But Gresham is now the NFL’s most sought-after available tight end."
Gresham, who reportedly visited New Orleans in early June, is expected to make a decision before training camp kicks off. After an OTAs session last month, head coach Sean Payton confirmed the team’s interview with the tight end, and mentioned how he’d be a good fit.
“He’s a player that we were obviously well aware of coming out five years ago in the draft,” Payton said. “We thought the visit went pretty good. I think there’s a fit for us if it works out. He’s a guy we’ve studied quite a bit now in the last couple months. It was just finding the right time, and it was good to have that chance to meet him yesterday.”
Still in his prime at 26-years-old, the 2010 first-round pick out of Oklahoma spent his first five seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, recording 280 career receptions for 2,722 yards and 24 touchdowns, and earning two consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl in 2011 and 2012.
Of course, the Saints recently parted ways with All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham, so the thought of the 6-foot-5 Jermaine Gresham in that New Orleans air attack is quite intriguing.
For now, it’s Josh Hill and Benjamin Watson who look to pick up the slack, with several others in line to battle it out for a spot on the team. The Saints could certainly make do with their current scenario, but offering Jermaine Gresham a contract does indeed make some sense. The former Bengal boasts excellent size, good speed and hands, and respectable versatility, making him a match-up nightmare for most defenses.
We’ve seen what he’s capable of doing while catching passes from Andy Dalton, but just imagine his potential with Drew Brees under center. With little durability issues in the past (missing just six of 80 games), but now recovering from offseason back surgery to repair a herniated disc, Jermaine Gresham could be an excellent addition as somewhat of a low-risk, high-reward player.