Gresham visit could change Cards’ TE situation

Posted by Darren Urban on July 19, 2015 – 8:06 am

It wouldn’t be an offseason for the Cardinals and General Manager Steve Keim without a veteran free agent signing or two by the time the team got to training camp. Given the retirement of John Carlson earlier this offseason, making a tight end one of those signings wouldn’t be a surprise. So it’s also not a surprise when Adam Schefter reported Sunday morning former Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham would be visiting the Cardinals this week.

Gresham, a former first-round pick who spent his first five seasons with the Bengals (and once a teammate of Carson Palmer), has started 67 NFL games (of 73 total) and has 280 receptions. He’s a pass catcher on a team that could use a proven one at tight end now that Carlson is gone. He had to have back surgery earlier in the offseason for a herniated disc, which is why he hasn’t signed anywhere yet. He also has been criticized for his inconsistency over the years in Cincinnati.

Gresham has already visited the Saints, who traded away Jimmy Graham, and there is interest there. Gresham also could visit other teams. The Cards have Darren Fells and Troy Niklas as blocker-first-types. Veteran combine signee Ifeanyi Momah — who has been working with Palmer in Palmer’s San Diego workouts — has looked good as a receiver in non-padded OTAs and minicamp. The Cards also have seventh-round pick Gerald Christian, Ted Bolser and Gannon Sinclair at tight end.

Jermaine Gresham, Mike Mitchell, Lawrence Timmons

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32 Responses to “Gresham visit could change Cards’ TE situation”

  1. By Tyler on Jul 19, 2015 | Reply

    Hope this deal comes into fruition. Gresham was a first round selection for a reason, and to say the Cards need a proven veteran at the TE position would be a massive understatement. Wow him with that traditional steak dinner Keim.

  2. By clssylssy on Jul 19, 2015 | Reply

    Sounds promising that the FO is giving the idea of a passing TE some thought and certainly the Cards have always been weak at the TE position. But, I’m not sure Greshem’s talent wouldn’t be wasted in BA’s scheme and I’m was hoping Gerald Christian would be able to fill Carlson’s role so we would focus more on beefing up our defense. Given Greshem’s back surgery and problems with a herniated disc (spells ongoing problems), together with his record of inconsistency, I think this would likely be a wast of our resources. Possibly Sean Peyton could have some luck with him (if Greshem could stay healthy) but I don’t see the Cards “developing” a pass catcher when they’ve never done so in the past.
    Please…spend our resources on our defense as our offense has come together pretty nicely this off season, and every other team in the league is focused on building killer defenses! Just because we’ve had good defense the past two years, means little with a different DC and young, relatively inexperienced players.
    We need to get big and mean, especially if Washington is out for whatever reason.

  3. By Big Ken on Jul 19, 2015 | Reply

    Naw, they’re kicking tires. Gresham hasn’t signed with a team yet? Red flag.

  4. By Berdj J. Rassam on Jul 19, 2015 | Reply

    I don’t think it’d hurt to add Gresham to the mix.

  5. By SteveG on Jul 19, 2015 | Reply

    It was not that long ago that to get a free agent to come here the team would likely have to over pay to be considered…..

    An overdue and much appreciated change for the better….

  6. By tkm on Jul 19, 2015 | Reply

    as long as he is healthy and his head on straight he could be a major addition to offense.if those things are good ,he could open up offense and cause defenses big problems.with offensive line ready to open big wholes for running game,this would be big addition.

  7. By Andy Kw on Jul 19, 2015 | Reply

    So the Cardinals are interested in Greshem?
    -Our top 4 TEs would be be Darren Fells, Troy Niklas, Ifeanyi Momah, & Gerald Christian. (Ted Bolser & Gannon Sinclair are capable young guys as well)
    -What would Jermaine Gresham bring? He was ranked very high as a pass protector last season. He caught 24 TDs in his five year NFL career. He has a rapport with Carson Palmer. I don’t think the Cardinals are willing to pay too much for him so maybe a 1yr prove it deal. But if we don’t sign him, I am fine with our current group of Tight Ends.

    Who else should the Cardinals bring in for a visit?
    -From what I see, I guess we have currently around $7-8M in cap space.
    -LB Dwight Freeney, DE Red Bryant
    Freeney is a proven pass rusher and his 40 QB pressures last season was ranked 3rd. Should compete with Alexander and Woodley for the starting job. We need serious pass rush improvement and this guy gives us just that.
    Red Bryant is a proven run stuffer. He can make plays on special teams and he should be avalable for cheap. Yes we are loaded at the defensive line but Bryant is a perfect fit for the Arizona Cardinals 3-4 base scheme. If we can find a trade partner for Shaughnessy, then i’d give this guy a go.

  8. By azdesertrat1953 on Jul 19, 2015 | Reply

    Ifeanyi Momah with Carson Palmer, John Brown, Troy Niklas and Drew Stanton.
    Well now did Carson Palmer find another rookie that he can help be a factor this year?
    Did the same last year with Smoke, and that turned out pretty good.

    That 1st week of Training Camp is going to be interesting.

    Our State of Football
    GO CARDS!!!

  9. By georgiebird on Jul 19, 2015 | Reply

    Cards need help at TE because Niklas has been a disappointment (due in part to injury). A 2nd round draft choice out of a big school (ND), Niklas was drafted young and it has turned out to be a reach. Another bad high draft choice by SK.
    Like the LB position, TE has been an albatross for the Cards. After Jackie Smith, there’s the death of JV Cain and the premature unloading of Jay Novacek and Robert Awalt and now the sudden retirement of John Carlson.

  10. By CORMAC on Jul 19, 2015 | Reply

    A nice pick up if we can swing the deal. Its the veteran tight end we need. Steve , do your rain man dance and make it happen! :O)

  11. By Andy Kw on Jul 19, 2015 | Reply

    Give Troy Niklas a chance. How is he a disappointment when he has only been in the NFL for one season? Yes he was injury prone last season but that doesn’t mean he’s a bust. Steve Keim made a good selection and I am sure Troy Niklas will prove it this season. He has speed and can block. Showed some promise in his limited playing time. I’m sure he is 100% healthy now and is hungry for some football. Can be the best TE in football so all we need him to do is stay healthy and train hard with Carson Palmer. He was won’t be the receiving yard leader but let me tell you, his 6-6 frame is a miss match for any CB that plays against him. He’ll get many red zone Touchdowns and could be used in role similar to Colts TE Dwayne Allen or Jaguars TE Julius Thomas, but just with more blocking which is what Arians likes.

  12. By Big Ken on Jul 19, 2015 | Reply

    ‘The sudden retirement of John Carlson’ they ought to buy him a steak dinner for vacating his roster spot. I think they’re set at tight end, all things considered.

  13. By Dr. G. on Jul 19, 2015 | Reply

    ? ? Darren Fells ? ? Block first ? P-shaw… With his hoops skills, he has proven late last season that we already have a very good TE that can CATCH, right? And, he is really huge! We just need camp bodies.. ..that’s all this is…

  14. By Eazy E on Jul 20, 2015 | Reply

    Finally!!!!!! I have for the whole offseason darn near begged us to get Gresham and I hope we sign him because he should be healthy and ready to go by training camp for sure! I don’t like our TE group at all, way too much inexperience at being productive and especially as pass catchers. Fells just played basketball a couple years ago, Niklas has been bitten by the injury bug although I still like him, Momah we know nothing about, and Christian is interesting, but still a 7th round rookie. The other 2…

  15. By Scott H on Jul 20, 2015 | Reply

    OK. Hey, if he’s physically capable, why not? I can’t hurt. But….if we bring in a pass-catching TE and don’t give him a chance to catch passes, then how does it help?

    It seems like we have a whole new crop of TE’s every year. And every year, no one stands out and the position itself remains about as productive as it ever is. What is this telling us??? We’re either perpetually finding the wrong guys OR the way the offense is run is not allowing anyone who plays TE to have much of an impact.

    I’d be fine with Gresham, as long as he is healthy. He ain’t Jimmy Graham or Antonio Gates but he’s a solid TE with good size who can make some plays. But….geez, don’t bring him here, use him the same way you use everyone else and expect a different outcome!

  16. By Scott H on Jul 20, 2015 | Reply

    Andy Kw –

    Re: He ( Niklas ) can be the best TE in football so all we need him to do is stay healthy and train hard with Carson Palmer.

    One more thing we need – to throw him the ball often enough for him to be productive!

  17. By sbrown on Jul 20, 2015 | Reply

    I think it is “buyer beware”, why did Gresham wait till March to have surgery ? why not two / three month sooner ? Now he has been doing PT, but maybe not any off season conditioning work, so he comes to camp behind the curve.

    As we know from other vets Gresham will need every available hour of practice to get BA’s offense to be play book ready for the season.

    I agree with Andk Kw, if he is good to go then maybe, but if not, I like the current TE room. Go Cards SB 50 !!

  18. By krehbieo14 on Jul 20, 2015 | Reply

    Gresham would be a huge risk, in addition to his back surgery, he has had a history of nagging injuries. The Bengels organization gave up on him because of his attitude and inconsistent play. Bengals fans viewed him as being soft, unable to stay on the field. If he passes his physical, the Cards may take that risk, but I’m not sure about his leadership abilities. Maybe Palmer has the skinny on him.

  19. By BIGAL on Jul 20, 2015 | Reply

    Offer him a Steve Keim special…one year prove it deal…Then we get to see what he’s got? His health certainly has to be of concern? We got a great year from each of Dansby & Cromartie that way…Just sayin, but like Scott H says, if yer not gonna use him…why bother? Personally, I always feel (no matter the offensive scheme) the more weapons you throw out there…the more they have to cover!
    Carson has some history of finding the TE’s…

    And I got to agree w/Eazy E altho I have to tease him for his phrase. “I don’t like our TE group at all, way too much inexperience at being productive and especially as pass catchers.” I gots to agree w/ya Eazy E! “Way too much inexperience!”
    I’m OK w/the group…but as a collective whole, they certainly do lack experience.
    Going back to when Carlson retired…I was suggesting that they keep him around
    as an assistant TE coach…(similar to what they are doing w/L Foote) maybe he could have a future there? I know this, & Darren your welcome to chime in…I know all the other players & especially the WR’s & TE’s group really liked him!
    Anyhow, bottom line is, we definitely could use some additional experience @ the

  20. By BigBobDiesel on Jul 20, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H
    in a recent thread you talked about Larry Fitzgerald (who led the cards in receptions last season) not getting the ball forced to him enough, now the tight end position isn’t getting enough love?

  21. By cards62 on Jul 20, 2015 | Reply

    Andy KW – I like your thinking on Dwight Freeney and Red Bryant if the price is right. I like our secondary but I am worried about our front 7 against the run and pass. Wonder what the rest of you Cardinal fans are thinking about these 2 and any other available free agents. Red Bryant I remember with Seattle as a good player so I think he could play some nose tackle for us and help stop the run and maybe give us some insight to Seattle.

    Concerning TE I have not given up on Niklas and still hope he can be the long term answer for us, but Gresham if price is right could be a very nice pickup for us. I love Carson Palmer’s leadership and would leave this one totally up to Carson. Carson played with Gresham in Cincinnati and the guy has a ton of talent so if Carson thinks he can make it work and price is right sign him to a two to three year deal. Carson will get him the ball enough I think to make him and all of us happy.

    Oh it will not be too much longer now until we will have our football again.

    Go Cards

  22. By clssylssy on Jul 21, 2015 | Reply

    If Greshem played with Palmer on the Bengals then that must make him a zillion years old in football years (declining if he were ever elite?) in view of injuries, etc. plus given his history and having back surgery in the spring, doesn’t count in his favor. We need players who are DURABLE and even if Keim got him on the cheap for one year, as pointed out, it would likely take him most of that time to “catch on”.to BA’s offense and what he is suppose to do (Bengals job description for a TE not the same).
    The Cards have a history of not really checking out players injury history and a “bargain” is money wasted if not able to produce. We have a bunch of young TEs who could be developed with a little effort so please check out his history. I have a feeling Greshem is looking for more than a camp body temporary job.

  23. By Crow on Jul 21, 2015 | Reply

    Ya i definately fine with our current group darren fell is a beast he can battle for the ball being a former bball player and all and nikalas has a chance to prove himself with Ifeanyi Momah in the mix ya id be comfortable with any of these guys starting!

  24. By BIGAL on Jul 21, 2015 | Reply

    Darren, was watching NFL.COM last night they showed each NFC WEST team
    from 2014 season giving each team 30 mins show…they briefly described some of each teams additions & subtractions for 2015…Man the West just don’t get easier these days! Anyhow, in watching our Cards, #98 was in on a lot of big Defensive plays…I was pretty sure it was Frostee Rucker…my question is, did he & Cory Peters switch #’s??? Or did Frostee just want Dumpster Dan’s old #92?
    What do you know about that?
    Thanks! Always!

  25. By Darren Urban on Jul 21, 2015 | Reply

    Big Al —

    RE: numbers

    Frostee wanted 92.

  26. By BIGAL on Jul 22, 2015 | Reply


    Gresham only turned 27, born on June 16th 1988…so he’s still pretty young. Apparently he had a herniated disk as the article states, and perhaps like w/many back or spinal issues…he &/or his medical advisors were giving his back a chance @ either therapy or even just time to relax, (settle down from the rigors of the season) he has already visited w/Green Bay & New Orleans soo, I also read where he chose not to sign w/the Bungles & go FA…Remember they have the even younger, other Golden Domer Tyler Eifert. Guarantee you Carson has an inside track! We’ll see?

  27. By Dr. G. on Jul 22, 2015 | Reply

    I am OK with continually trying to take a flyer on a well-vetted free agent, but I can assure you that any who has previous back problems will instinctively want to be cautious.

    Now, we are not talking about routine day-to-day activities; we are talking about a guy who will need to block men that are 300 lbs coming really fast at him. Just the mental aspect here points to “buyer beware.” Not to be critical here, just cautious for the team and the man….later Fans

  28. By Big Ken on Jul 23, 2015 | Reply

    lol @ ‘Frosted’ Darren was this a typo or does Mr. Rucker have a new nickname?

  29. By Scott H on Jul 24, 2015 | Reply

    Big Bob Diesel –

    Well, are you dis-agreeing with me on either front?? When was the last time the Cardinals had a TE that achieved any relevancy as a pass-catcher?

  30. By Dr. G. on Jul 24, 2015 | Reply

    Well, signing Gresham indicates that when Arians says, “I am not afraid to play the younger guys, even rookies; everyone needs to be accountable,” it sends contradiction. So Keim must have some input here or BA has a new revelation regarding the men already here.

    Every roster spot is valuable…so let’s hope his back is OK, that he is in game shape, and that he can still get it done. I still think Fells can be very good.

    A bit confused, but happy to be a Cards Fan…later

  31. By clssylssy on Jul 25, 2015 | Reply

    @BIG AL
    Back problems are no small deal and only get worse (I can speak from experience and I am older than 27, have had a cervical laminectomy as well as lumbarectomy) In both cases it took well over a matter of months and extensive physical therapy to achieve even partial recovery and then my neurosurgeon said “no pounding activities, i.e. skiing, running, horse back riding, etc. which would include vigorous contact sports in which collisions with large men wanting to take you down are part of the job description or activities in which reinjury was possible.
    I’m just saying this is risky business for both the team, as well as, a player who no doubt is not ready to hang it up just yet.
    Peyton Manning and Tony Romo have a line to protect them but a TE is not going to have anybody protecting him and could even be a distraction. Herniated discs are very painful and can impede performance such as catching,and a disc can go out easily just stepping in a hole or stepping off a curb.
    I think having a veteran presence in the TE room could be good but have doubts about actual production. Perhaps in BA’s scheme he would work out but don’t expect him to be Jimmy Graham.

  32. By William Barry on Aug 3, 2015 | Reply

    Gresham will have a good year, since he has worked with Carson before.

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