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Saints Still In Play For Free-Agent Te Jermaine Gresham


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The New Orleans Saints are still in play for free-agent tight end Jermaine Gresham, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. But they’re not alone.

Schefter reported that Gresham is scheduled to visit with the Arizona Cardinals this week, according to a source, but he also revealed that the Saints offered Gresham a contract after his visit to New Orleans in early June. Schefter said the former Cincinnati Bengals Pro Bowler has other visits planned over the next two weeks and is expected to sign with a team before camp.

Gresham’s free-agency courtship was delayed a bit because he had surgery in March to repair a herniated disc. The need for surgery was apparently discovered when the 27-year-old was close to signing with the Oakland Raiders.

The Saints left an enormous void in their tight end group when they traded Jimmy Graham to the Seattle Seahawks in March. But they haven’t been overly concerned with filling it since they like their depth with veteran Benjamin Watson and young riser Josh Hill, among others. New Orleans didn’t sign a free agent tight end or draft one.

Coach Sean Payton said in June that the visit with Gresham was more about the player specifically than the need to add tight end depth, in general.

“I think there’s a fit for us if it works out,” Payton said at the time.

The Saints have about $2.6 million in salary-cap space, which leaves more than enough room.

Gresham (6-foot-5, 260 pounds) has made two Pro Bowls, both times as an alternate in 2011 and 2012. He has a total of 280 catches for 2,722 yards and 24 touchdowns in his career, including 62 catches for 460 yards and five TDs last year.

But the former first-round draft pick (who was drafted ahead of Graham and Rob Gronkowski in 2010) has battled inconsistency throughout his career, which I chronicled when Gresham first visited New Orleans.


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