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Cardinals officially release TE Jermaine Gresham

Arizona Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham (84) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

The Arizona Cardinals released veteran tight end Jermaine Gresham just after the new league year began on Wednesday, the team said in a release.

Arizona also announced a trade of the 207th overall pick (sixth round) for 2019 to acquire guard Marcus Gilbert from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Such a move gives the Cardinals cap relief for the tight end who has a base salary of $6.25 million in 2019 and another $6.75 million in 2020.

According to Spotrac.com, $1.25 million left on Gresham’s 2018 salary plus $2.25 million of his 2019 figure were set to fully guarantee this coming Saturday. Gresham’s cap hit would have locked in at $8.22 million in 2019 if he was on the roster but will decrease to a dead cap of $5.75 million after his release.

Gresham originally signed a four-year deal worth up to $28 million ($16.5 million guaranteed) before the 2017 season.

The 30-year-old suffered an Achilles injury at the end of the 2017 season but returned to appear in 13 games last year.

Gresham made just nine receptions for 94 yards and no touchdowns in 2018. Though he’s known as a skilled run-blocker, it was the first time he has not recorded at least 223 receiving yards over a season in his nine-year NFL career.

The Cardinals will enter the Kliff Kingsbury era with a reworked tight end room after they signed pass-catching tight end Charles Clay to a one-year deal on Feb. 20. Arizona also extended tender offers to exclusive right free agent tight ends Ricky Seals-Jones and Darrell Daniels.

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