The Bengals officially announced the signing of rookie TE Jermaine Gresham, their first-round pick, on Tuesday. Gresham, who played collegiately at Oklahoma, will have a chance to contribute immediately to a Bengals offense looking to have a more explosive passing game this season.
According to The Cincinnati Enquirer, Gresham's five-year contract is worth $15.85 million, with $9.5 million guaranteed. Gresham, 22, can earn a maximum of $18.5 million, according to The Enquirer.
"Jermaine will increase our offensive options," said Bengals offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski in a team-issued statement. "In the physical division we play in, he gives us another weapon. He plays the way we like to play. He can be a great receiver and a great blocker, and there haven't been many tight ends come out in recent years with the realistic potential to excel in both areas."
Gresham missed the 2009 season after right-knee surgery because of torn cartilage, but he participated in offseason workouts with Cincinnati. He caught 66 passes for 950 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2008 for Oklahoma.
In PFW's 2010 Draft Preview, personnel analyst Nolan Nawrocki wrote that the 6-foot-5, 261-pound Gresham was a "very athletic, fluid mover with quick, explosive hands" who "could take some time to master the nuances of an NFL playbook."
In another roster move Tuesday, the Bengals released undrafted free-agent DE Rahim Alem.
For authoritative coverage and analysis of NFL news, free agency and fantasy football, visit ProFootballWeekly.com.