Dec 22, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham (84) takes the field prior to the game against the Denver Broncos at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 37-28. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jermaine Gresham entered free agency with the hope of getting paid more than what the Bengals offering. Much to his chagrin, he is still a free agent almost three weeks later while most of the other quality tight ends have already signed contracts. He is teamless and his ego is probably a little worse for wear, but with the Bengals remaining an option, could he return and make a positive impact for the Bengals?
Gresham was a key part of the Bengals’ offense last season when Tyler Eifert and A.J. Green went down early in the season. Gresham ran into a few issues such as untimely turnovers and drops, which exposed him to much unwanted criticism. He also didn’t get the yards many had hoped for with Eifert out.
He is a big presence and fights for every yard. He became the second and third options for Andy Dalton in every game. His averages went down and luckily all three fumbles were recovered by the Bengals this season. He also accounted for five of Dalton’s 19 touchdown passes and 62 catches, which was second only behind Green in both categories and third in receiving yards behind Green and Mohamed Sanu.
We are quick to criticize Gresham for his mistakes but he has been a core part of the offense. Tyler Eifert will be back and it will reduce Gresham’s role in the offense but it doesn’t replace what he can do and the strength that Gresham has to finish plays and fight for yards. If he comes back to the Cincinnati Bengals, his impact and skill to fight for every yard, should prove beneficial in late downs. He is another luxury that Bengals fans should not under estimate the impact of his loss.
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