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Jermaine Gresham has herniated disc, explains why Raiders didn't sign him

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

One of the first reported names that came up early in the free agent negotiating period as receiving interest from the Raiders was former Cincinnati Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham. And after Julius Thomas got big money from the Jaguars, the Raiders seemed to zero on in him. He visited the team early in free agency, but while all other player visits were signing deals with the Raiders, Gresham's status was a mystery.

The status of the negotiations between he and the team was dead as of the end of the week and yet oddly enough, Gresham had no reported visits lined up even despite reported interest from the Browns.

As of Wednesday night, we now have a good idea why no deal happened and why there had been no further interest in Gresham's services -- he has a herniated disc in his back according to Ian Rapoport. It will require surgery with no timetable for a return.

All teams put players through physicals before any deals can be officially done and of course the Raiders are wary of such things after last offseason when Rodger Saffold had his deal voided due to a shoulder injury that required surgery.

Gresham was considered one of the top free agent options at tight end along with Julius Thomas and Charles Clay. Had he been healthy, there seemed a pretty good chance he would have signed with the Raiders based simply on the fact that all other reported visits by players led to them joining the team.