Once the free agent negotiating period began, the Raiders had very early intertest in signing tight end Jermaine Gresham. He visited the facility and based on the team's track record this offseason of signing players who visited -- they signed all ten other reported visits -- it seemed if they got him in the building, he wouldn't leave without a contract.
All indications were that was the case. But after two days in Oakland, there still was not a deal done. Ten days ago, Ian Rapoport revealed the reason why -- Gresham had a herniated disc in his back.
Gresham had successful surgery on March 19 and is now rehabbing from it. There is no definitive timetable for recovery though some general estimates put it at 4-6 weeks, which, if is the case, could have him ready in time for OTA's in May.
General manager Reggie McKenzie mentioned at the owners meetings this week that the Raiders are still interested in signing Gresham and will revisit the idea of signing him once he recovers from his back surgery.
"He's still on my board," McKenzie told CSN Bay Area. "We'll see how he feels and how he rehabs and all that. Going forward, it will be more about how he wants to navigate through this."
Gresham is extremely talented all-around tight end and would be the receiving threat the Raiders need at the position. They had also made a run at Julius Thomas, but lost out to the Jaguars who signed him to a lucrative contract.
Should the Raiders ultimately land Gresham, their overall 2015 free agent haul would look considerably better. One of the major additions needed was a receiving threat for second year quarterback Derek Carr. Gresham would provide that.
The 6-5, 260-pound former first round pick has averaged 56 catches for 544 yards and 5 TD's with two trips to the Pro Bowl over his five NFL seasons, all with the Cincinnati Bengals. He is also somewhat reliable, having missed just six games in his career.