When the Chicago Bears decided to trade tight end Martellus Bennett to the New England Patriots, they had a couple of free agency plans in mind to replace him. Jermaine Gresham, who ended up re-signing with the Arizona Cardinals, was plan A, and restricted free agent Josh Hill of the New Orleans Saints was plan B.
Gresham ended up inking a 1 year deal worth $3,500,000 including $1,000,000 guaranteed to return to Arizona, and the Saints matched the Bears' contract offer of 3 years, $7,100,000 with $3,250,000 guaranteed. Chicago had already re-upped with Zach Miller and Rob Housler, but they obviously wanted more at the tight end position.
A recent article by Steven J. Gaither of the Sporting News is showing us just how much more the Bears wanted to upgrade. Gresham told azcentral.com that he turned down a four year deal worth $23 million, including $12 million guaranteed, and Gaither is reporting that that big money contract was what the Bears were offering.
Why would Gresham pass on that much cash?
"Overall happiness and a chance to win," Gresham said, and he added, "Yeah, my agent tried talking me out of it, but I think he felt that my happiness is more important. He saw my vision and he siding with me all the way to the end."
For a little perspective on the reported contract offer to Gresham, Chicago general manager Ryan Pace signed inside linebacker Danny Trevathan to a 4 year deal worth $24,500,000 and $12,000,000 of it guaranteed.
Bears' fans, what would you have thought about that big of a deal being signed by Gresham?
The Bears had 5 tight ends in on a try out basis this week, so stay tuned to see if they add some more competition to the position. With mandatory minicamp coming up next week, I would expect them to add a 90th player to their roster.