Jermaine Gresham is a free agent no more. The tight end, who met with several teams including the Chicago Bears and New York Jets, is re-upping with the team.
And according to NFL Network’s Ian Rappoport, the one-year deal is worth less money than what other teams are offering.
TE Jermaine Gresham is re-signing with the #AZCardinals, source said. He’s taking less to stay.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 13, 2016
Steve Keim, the Cardinals general manager, sung Gresham’s praises prior to his signing, explaining to NFL the challenges in finding a tight end that can perform both pass-catching and blocking duties.
“You’re either an inline guy who usually lacks the skill set to be a pass catcher — a tough overachiever that’s physical at the point of attack,” Keim said. “And then you have the guy who can flex and is essentially a big wide receiver. So the guy who can do it all generally doesn’t exist anymore. There are a few guys that can do both, but very rare.”
Coach Bruce Arians was excited by the news of Gresham’s return to the team. “He loves the culture of our football team and what we speak for,” Arians said.
Meanwhile, quarterback Carson Palmer was equally “fired up” at the chance of playing a full season with Jermaine, who was coming off back surgery last offseason.
“We’re going to see a whole different animal this year. I can’t wait. A whole year in this offense. A whole year training with (Cardinals strength and conditioning coach) Buddy (Morris), a whole year to work with him, just huge for us.”
According to the report, Gresham turned down contracts of up to four years for $23 million with $12 million fully guaranteed from other teams because he wanted to be back in Arizona. The report cited Jermaine’s desire “to have consistency in offense and reset his market for next year.” One of those teams he turned down was the tight end hungry New York Jets, with whom Gresham visited with earlier in the week, according to Pro Football Talk.
It’s not known whether the lucrative contract offer for Jermaine came from the Jets or the Chicago Bears, but it would be head-scratching if it came from New York. The team is currently involved with re-signing their own free agents, most notably quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick who is seeking a multi-year deal with the Jets after a stellar first year campaign with the club.
The only problem in this case is money, as the two sides are far apart on any deal which again would be interesting if they were the team offering the $12 million guaranteed to Gresham.
Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick was recently contacted by the Denver Broncos, who recently upgraded their barren quarterback position by trading for veteran Mark Sanchez, as reported by the LA Times. The idea of having Fitzpatrick compete with Sanchez is appealing for the Broncos as recently hinted at by Denver GM John Elway, who called the trade for Sanchez the “first step” in the process of reinvigorating their starting quarterback position decimated by the retirement of Peyton Manning and the defection of Brock Osweiler to Denver.
Acquired QB Mark Sanchez for a conditional ’17 pick. He brings veteran leadership & will compete. This is the 1st step in our process.
— John Elway (@johnelway) March 11, 2016
Denver also entertained the idea of bringing in RG III to compete with Sanchez for the starting role, but as reported by The Inquisitr, it looks like the New York Jets or San Francisco 49ers are poised to land Griffin’s services instead.
With players switching teams left and right, it appears Jermaine Gresham is a rarity as he chooses to take less money to remain with the team.
[Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]