Oakland Raiders could still be interested in Jermaine Gresham


Dec 28, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham (84) scores a touchdown as he is tackled by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons (94) in the second half at Heinz Field. The Steelers won the game, 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

During 2015 NFL Free Agency, the Oakland Raiders biggest tight end target turned up not being Julius Thomas, but rather Jermaine Gresham as general manager Reggie McKenzie showed interest in the Cincinnati Bengals veteran. Gresham even visiting the Bay Area as the team looked for a proven option to pair alongside the promising, but still developing Mychal Rivera at the position.

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That was before a back injury that required surgery on a herniated disk cooled the market on Gresham as teams opted to wait until he went under the knife before considering restarting conversations with the tight end. Now it appears that with training camps opening in just over a week that Gresham is now suddenly a commodity again as news leaked on Monday with a list of teams who could be interested in bringing him in to the fold for the 2015 season.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Raiders are amongst a list of teams that have interest in Gresham. A list that includes the Arizona Cardinals, and the New Orleans Saints amongst Oakland as McKenzie could decide to beef up his tight end group even further after already drafting Clive Walford out of Miami following Gresham’s surgery leaving him in need of a tight end at the draft.

Rapoport confirmed that the Cardinals will be the favorites to land Gresham, as he has a visit planned with Arizona this week that could see him signing a deal with the NFC West team in the near future.

It is unlikely that the Raiders will be adding Gresham after drafting Walford and the Cardinals appearing in line to sign him with a visit on the horizon, but it needs to be said that McKenzie did have heavy interest in the player before the herniated disk came to the fold. If the Cards do pass there is a chance that Reggie will have a tough decision to make on a player that he wanted months ago, but may not need after drafting Walford.

You can never have too much depth, but with Rivera, Walford and blocking specialist Lee Smith it looks like the Raiders are set at tight end to leave Gresham in a position where he would be more of a luxury than anything if McKenzie does resume talks with the player. Because of those factors that leave the team without a need at the position, don’t expect Gresham in Oakland when he does sign with a team in the coming week.