Cincinnati Bengals: 30 greatest players in franchise history

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Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals
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TE. (2010-14). Jermaine Gresham. 29. player. 56.

  • 2x Pro Bowl (2011-12)
  • Most receptions by a rookie Bengals tight end (52) in 2010
  • One of only three tight ends with 50+ receptions in first three NFL seasons
  • 280 receptions for 2,722 yards and 24 touchdowns w/Bengals

Though it only lasted five seasons, Jermaine Gresham did help set the tone for what it means to be a reliable pass catcher in the Andy Dalton era of Bengals football. Gresham was an absolute stud in college playing for the Oklahoma Sooners. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, as he had Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford slinging him the pigskin.

The Bengals would draft the First-Team All-American with the No. 21 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma. Right away, Gresham would prove to be a productive tight end. He set a franchise record for most receptions made by a tight end as a rookie in 2010 with 52. With those 52 catches, he would accumulate 471 yards and four touchdowns.

His sophomore season in the league would prove to be a breakout year for Gresham professionally. This would be Dalton’s rookie year out of TCU and wide receiver A.J. Green’s rookie season out of Georgia.

Gresham would improve on his rookie year by hauling in 56 balls for 596 yards and a career-high six touchdowns. These numbers helped Gresham punch his first ticket to the Pro Bowl in his professional career. Cincinnati made the playoffs that season as well.

Gresham put together another stellar season in year three with the Bengals. He set career highs in catches with 64 and receiving yards with 737 to go along with five touchdowns. Gresham made it to his second-straight Pro Bowl representing the AFC.

Through his first three seasons in the league, Gresham was in rare company. He was one of only three tight ends to have had at least 50 receptions in his first three professional seasons. The other two were Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Ditka and Sooners legend Keith Jackson, a guy who Gresham has often been compared to.

Gresham played in Cincinnati through the 2014 NFL season. He would sign with the Arizona Cardinals in 2015 on a one-year deal to join his former starting quarterback Carson Palmer in Glendale. He re-upped on a four-year extension with Arizona after the 2015 NFL season. Though Gresham has been a regular starter in Arizona, his production has dipped since leaving the Queen City.

While he is working through a ruptured Achilles’ tendon suffered late last year, Gresham is still a member of the Cardinals. In his five seasons with the Bengals, Gresham had 280 receptions for 2,722 yards and 24 touchdowns.