As most of our readers are aware, we keep an account on how former Bengals players are faring with their new teams, or how they're doing on the open market. Carson Palmer left via trade, suffered in Oakland and quietly regrouped in Arizona. Keith Rivers went from being a disappointing first round pick to a nonexistent backup for the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills and, currently is vying for a spot in Dallas, where he isn't expected to make the 53-man roster. Then there are some veterans who return home, like Pat Sims, Michael Johnson and Josh Johnson.
Former first round pick Jermaine Gresham has gone from a disappointing first-round selection, to a nomad traversing crowded population centres in the NFL community. Despite burnt bridges in Cincinnati, Gresham found his way out of the city and into Oakland, where he spent a week talking with the Raiders. A physical showed he had a herniated disk which required surgery, and Oakland's interest in Gresham dissolved like an Alka-Seltzer in a glass of room-temperature water.
With rosters are mostly set, free agency is over and the NFL draft is months behind us, Gresham is generating interest among NFL teams as one of the strongest talents available on the market. According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, Gresham will visit with the Arizona Cardinals, along with "other visits planned the next two weeks." Interest in Gresham hasn't been completely barren during the offseason; Buffalo and Cleveland have "thought about it" and New Orleans offered Gresham a deal (presumably during a visit from early June), largely in response to trading Jimmy Graham to Seattle.
During a mailbag session this weekend, ESPN NFL reporter Coley Harvey rejected the idea of Cincinnati re-signing Gresham. On the surface, it's a rather confusing question in the first place. Earlier this year, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that many of Cincinnati's coaches wanted nothing to do with Gresham, and nothing has promoted the idea of an eventual reunion. Writes the Cincinnati Enquirer:
A mantra of this organization has for a long time been about acquiring players you can trust. I don't know this team can trust Gresham anymore. His low tolerance for pain and a career peppered with games missed when he probably could have played through the pain while others, in fact, did play through their pain doesn't help. His inconsistency with fumbles, penalties, etc., only adds to the lack of trust.
On more than one occasion, trust and maturity have been underlining themes against Gresham, along with the fumbles (due to extra effort), dropped passes and pre-snap penalties, and exhibiting a lack of focus. Despite optimistic pregame work in Week 15 last year, the Bengals were shocked when Gresham said he couldn't play.
"A source told FOX Sports that the Bengals were expecting Gresham to play in Sunday's 30-0 victory over Cleveland," wrote Alex Marvez with Fox Sports late last season. "That sentiment was reinforced Sunday when Gresham 'looked great running around' during a pre-game workout, the source said. Gresham, though, was declared inactive to miss his first game of the season."
This caused an on-air tiff between Gresham and Dave Lapham, who questioned the tight end's commitment to his teammates.