Oakland Raiders May Still Sign Jermaine Gresham


Dec 22, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham (84) makes a catch while being tackled by Denver Broncos free safety Rahim Moore (26) during the third quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Of the players who visited the Oakland Raiders during 2015 NFL Free Agency, few ended up leaving the Bay Area without contracts as the players who general manager Reggie McKenzie recruited to the visiting stage tended to sign with the team after getting the sales pitch even if the main problem was the big names never visiting the team before signing elsewhere.

More from Las Vegas Raiders News

One of the names that visited the Raiders who did not end up signing a contract was tight end Jermaine Gresham, a player that McKenzie highly sought after during the first weeks of free agency before things fell apart. The reason being that Gresham needed to undergo surgery on a herniated disk in his back, something that cooled Oakland’s interest.

However after back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins performed successful surgery on Gresham things could be different as McKenzie told the media on hand at the 2015 NFL Owners Meetings that nothing is final with the tight end when it comes to the Raiders interest in adding him to the roster. Recent back surgery or not.

“He’s still on my board,” McKenzie told CSN Bay Area at the NFL owners meetings while adding that Gresham’s rehabilitation process will let him know more in terms of the level of interest the general manager will have in the tight end. “We’ll see how he feels and how he rehabs and all that. Going forward, it will be more about how he wants to navigate through this.”

More from Just Blog Baby

Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that McKenzie would be interested in Gresham despite the discovery of his injury, a thin market at tight end in both free agency as well as the draft making the former Bengal a name that could still draw interest around the league despite injury concerns. Gresham has consistently hovered around an average of 50 catches per season during his five seasons in the NFL so the talent could outweigh any potential risk of signing a player who could still be far from 100% healthy by the fall.

If there is any upside to Gresham’s injury it will be that whatever deal he does sign it will be for less guaranteed money and less money overall with the worry of his back causing a decline in production decreasing his value. Likely to now sign on a one year “prove it” contract, the Raiders could get bang for their buck with a second tight end option to pair with the talented Mychal Rivera. Derek Carr showing that he will use his tight ends often during his rookie season, the remaining interest in Gresham is no surprise as McKenzie will keep his options open with the former Bengal and see how his rehab goes before making a move.