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Bills gave "serious thought" to signing Jermaine Gresham

Jermaine Gresham had an extended visit with the Oakland Raiders and known interest with the Cleveland Browns before doctors discovered a herniated disc in his back.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills gave "serious thought" to signing free agent tight end Jermaine Gresham before a recently discovered back issue that shut down his free agency tour, according to Vic Carucci with the Buffalo News.

"According to an NFL source, the Bills also were giving serious thought to signing Jermaine Gresham before he underwent surgery Thursday to repair a herniated disc," writes Carucci. "They were, the source said, willing to add Gresham in addition to Clay, whom they acquired Thursday after the Miami Dolphins chose not to match the offer sheet the Bills had given him as a transition-tagged player."

During an extended visit with the Oakland Raiders two weeks ago, their medical staff had discovered an issue with his back, which was later confirmed by an independent doctor. As a result, Oakland terminated talks (at least for the time being). Gresham's surgery to repair his herniate disc takes priority for him while other teams expand their search for tight end help.

We're conjecturing at this point, but we believe that he suffered the injury during the first half in the regular season finale -- he played sparingly in the second half and was out against the Indianapolis Colts in the playoffs with the injury being listed as a "back".

Cleveland had also expressed interest in Gresham.

Despite an optimistic prognosis that he'll be ready for training camp this summer, it's hard to believe that he'll earn anything more than a minimum deal with playing time incentives -- aka, the so-called one-year "prove it" contract. Because of the general familiarity (and despite comments made by anonymous coaches), we wouldn't completely disregard a return to Cincinnati. We'll say, like... two percent?