The New Orleans Saints are looking for a replacement for tight end Jimmy Graham and are considering free agent Jermaine Gresham, according to reports. The 26-year-old Gresham was the 21st overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, for whom he played from 2010 to 2014.
Mike Garofolo of Fox Sports first reported the development on Twitter.
Free agent TE Jermaine Gresham visited the Saints today, sources say. Interesting possibility after Jimmy Graham trade. No deal yet, though.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) June 4, 2015
Gresham’s best season in Cincinnati came in 2012 when he had 737 receiving yards on 64 catches with 5 touchdowns. For his five-year NFL career, he has accumulated 2,722 receiving yards on 280 catches with 24 touchdowns.
An ESPN report also confirmed the meeting between Saints and Gresham, saying Saints head coach Sean Payton admitted that the tight end visited Wednesday. "He’s a guy that we’ve studied quite a bit now in the last couple months. So it was just finding the right time and it was good to have that chance to meet him yesterday," Payton said. "He’s a player that we’re obviously well aware of, coming out five years ago in the draft."
Payton also described the Gresham visit as “pretty good,” although the team announced no official signing.
If the Saints bring in Gresham, he will most likely replace Graham, who was traded to the Seattle Seahawks earlier in the offseason. Graham was a three-time NFL Pro Bowler, making the team in 2011, 2013 and 2014.
Other tight ends on the New Orleans roster are Ben Watson and Josh Hill.