ARIZONA CARDINALS

ESPN Insider: Keeping Gresham was a bad move by Cardinals

Apr 7, 2017, 2:05 PM | Updated: Apr 8, 2017, 3:06 pm

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver John Brown (12) celebrates his touchdown with tight end Jermaine Gr...

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver John Brown (12) celebrates his touchdown with tight end Jermaine Gresham (84) during the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The 2017 free agency period didn’t treat the Arizona Cardinals well, as the team lost high-prized players like Calais Campbell and Tony Jefferson.

But despite the losses, Arizona did manage to keep some free agents on the team, one of the most notable being tight end Jermaine Gresham.

And while the goal is to keep as many free agents as possible, ESPN Insider Mike Sando thinks the Cardinals overpaid for Gresham.

In his story ranking the value of free agency signings, Sando put Gresham in the “bad” category.

Sando writes:

Jermaine Gresham, TE, Arizona Cardinals

Contract: four years, $28 million

The Bengals let Gresham walk in free agency two years ago when the tight end was coming off a two-season stretch with 108 receptions for 918 yards and nine touchdowns. Gresham’s numbers are way down in two seasons with Arizona: 55 catches for 614 yards and three scores. Those are modest stats for a player now set to earn $16.5 million in guaranteed money, including $5.25 million fully guaranteed in 2018. Finding the resources to keep Gresham seemed odd for a team that couldn’t find a way to retain homegrown safety Tony Jefferson.

Sando seems to think the Cardinals should’ve tried harder to keep Jefferson, who signed a four year contract worth $34 million with the Baltimore Ravens. Although Jefferson is making more money, the contracts aren’t drastically different. Jefferson also earned $19 million in guaranteed money while Gresham made $16.5 million guaranteed.

In 2016, Gresham played in all 16 games and had 37 receptions for 391 yards and two touchdowns. Those are respectable numbers for a tight end, but his receiving yards were tied for 28th in the NFL.

But in fairness to Gresham, the Cardinals have so many offensive weapons. It’s understandable that Bruce Arians didn’t use him as often as he got the ball to Larry Fitzgerald or David Johnson.

In theory, retaining Gresham would mean Arizona wouldn’t have to draft a tight end in the first round of the NFL draft, but that hasn’t stopped some mock drafts from projecting former Alabama tight end O.J. Howard to the Cardinals.

 

Presented By
Western Governors University

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals D.J. Humphries...

Vincent DeAngelis

Cardinals’ OT D.J. Humphries talks Marvin Harrison Jr., recovery from torn ACL

Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle D.J. Humphries expressed that he thinks Marvin Harrison Jr. is too easy to miss in the 2024 NFL Draft.

2 hours ago

Malik Nabers speaks with reporters at 2024 NFL Draft Combine...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals add Malik Nabers, not Marvin Harrison Jr., in Lance Zierlein’s latest mock draft

NFL.com's Lance Zierlein zigged instead of zagged on Monday, mock-drafting Malik Nabers, not Marvin Harrison Jr., to the Cardinals at No. 4.

3 hours ago

Jacob Cowing runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL Draft Combine...

Tyler Drake

Projecting where Arizona Cardinals could draft NFL Combine standouts

A look at some of the combine standouts who could fill a Cardinals' need and how they could realistically find their way to Arizona:

6 hours ago

Notre Dame offensive lineman Joe Alt runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine, Sunday, Mar...

Tom Kuebel

Cardinals could trade up to pick OL prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft

After an impressive showing by the offensive lineman at the 2024 NFL Draft Combine, the Cardinals might have to trade up from pick No. 27 to get a top prospect.

1 day ago

Rome Odunze...

Alex Weiner

How did Rome Odunze measure at NFL Draft Combine after meeting with Cardinals?

Before taking the field to run the 40-yard dash, Rome Odunze met with several teams sitting atop the draft, including the Cardinals.

2 days ago

Olumuyiwa Fashanu...

Jesse Morrison

NFL Draft OL prospect Olu Fashanu had ‘smooth meeting’ with Cardinals, Jonathan Gannon

One of the top prospects in the NFL draft, offensive tackle Olumuyiwa Fashanu seemed interested in the Cardinals at the NFL combine.

2 days ago

ESPN Insider: Keeping Gresham was a bad move by Cardinals