Dec. 2, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Dustin Keller (81) celebrates on the field against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

An Under the Radar Alternative for the New York Jets at Tight End?


For all of the good work that John Idzik and the Jets have done so far at improving this roster, one position has gone by the wayside. That position is tight end, and it is not only the Jets’ fault. They really made no effort to bring back Dustin Keller, so he has defected to Miami. Today, Fred Davis was schedule to make a free agent visit with the team, until he cancelled the visit late last night.

What are the Jets to do here? Clearly, they do need some assistance at the position. There isn’t enough evidence for the Jets to be enamored with Jeff Cumberland. Everyone is high on the work ethic and progress of Hayden Smith, but the fact is, he just learned the game of football last year. It’s hardly fair to expect him to take the team by storm after never picking up a football before 2012. Konrad Reuland is a nice player, but it’s hard to call him a starter at this point as well.

What are the Jets to do? Well, there is a free agent tight end, that still isn’t old, has had a quality career prior to 2012, and I believe could be had by the New York Jets. His name?

KELLEN WINSLOW, JR

Kellen was reportedly interested in returning to his original NFL team, the Cleveland Browns, but the team does not seem to be returning said interest.  I read a report that the Raiders were interested, but that really hasn’t paned out either.

So, why not jump in if you are the New York Jets?

Take a look at his career:

Year Team G Rec Yds Avg Yds/G Lng TD 20+ 40+ 1st FUM
2012 New England Patriots 1 1 12 12.0 12.0 12 0 0 0 1 0
2011 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16 75 763 10.2 47.7 37 2 5 0 40 2
2010 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16 66 730 11.1 45.6 41T 5 10 2 36 1
2009 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16 77 884 11.5 55.2 42T 5 10 1 47 0
2008 Cleveland Browns 10 43 428 10.0 42.8 30 3 3 0 25 1
2007 Cleveland Browns 16 82 1,106 13.5 69.1 49 5 17 1 56 2
2006 Cleveland Browns 16 89 875 9.8 54.7 40 3 11 1 42 1
2005 Cleveland Browns 0 0.0
2004 Cleveland Browns 2 5 50 10.0 25.0 21 0 1 0 3 0
TOTAL 93 438 4,848 11.1 52.1 49 23 57 5 250 7

From 2006-2001, that is an average of 72 receptions per season. In comparison, Dustin Keller has never topped the numbers of Winslow, in the years Winslow played all 16 games. Keller’s best year was 65 receptions, while Winslow has posted 89 and 82 reception seasons.

Kellen has had his injury problems, and not necessarily due to issues on the field. He tore his ACL in a motorcycle accident, paving his way to the “PUP” list for the 2005 season. In 2008, Winslow missed time after being hospitalized with a “staph infection”. That year, he openly criticized Browns’ management, accusing them of hiding his injury, which would indicate some character issues.

Like I said, he clearly has been a productive tight end throughout his career. When on the field, and healthy, he gets the job done. He has been available for so long, it’s hard to believe that he couldn’t be signed to a one year deal, with a low salary, and incentives. Talk to the guy. If his character is acceptable, why not give him a shot?

Tags: Kellen Winslow Jr New York Jets Nfl Free Agency

  • Dustin Schrank

    Man them are some really nice stats, he looks way better than fred davis(who I dont like anyways) I think we should jump on this guy and draft Tyler Eifert with the second round pick and continue to develope Hayden Smith becuase I think he has huge upside. I agreee Konrad is a good player but 11 receptions on the season and he played in all 16 games, those numbers are just not gonna get it done.

    • TheJetPress

      I don’t know why they don’t take a look at Winslow. He seems to have fallen off the map in only one year. Maybe he is a head case? I don’t know. But his numbers certainly show us a player that deserves at least a look. He comes from great stock too, I don’t know how old you are but his Dad was a wonderful tight end too.

      I think Smith could be great some day as well. Konrad is a nice complimentary player, but I believe nothing more. And I have never been a big Jeff Cumberland lover.

      • jetmenow

        It would be worthwhile if we got Winslow on the cheap. As for Konrad, to be fare, 12 targets and 11 receptions, the missed target was on shoelaces, he hasn’t dropped a target in years and we need to try him as primary receiving TE but we don’t have blocking TE to replace his 3 position capability. It’s really too bad for this kid as he can catch anything near him. We will see what the draft holds

        • TheJetPress

          No disagreement jetmenow. I definitely don’t want them to break the bank to bring in a guy like Winslow. I just think he would be a great addition, and due to the lack of interest around the league, he could be had on the cheap.

        • Dustin Schrank

          Im not knocking konrad, when he jumped in that pile up after the refs where already there and came out with the football for a fumble recovery, I said konrad is a baller, but there is a reason he was targeted 12 times and when keller was healthy sanchez targeted him a ton(sanchez likes TEs), I dont think he gets seperation but I do want him to remain a Jet.

          • TheJetPress

            Mark sure does like TE’s I agree.. I would not be upset if they bring Konrad back in a supplementary role.

  • Korwil

    If they could get him for very cheap, then I would not mind on a short-term deal.

    There are some good TEs in this draft so I see that being addressed. I still feel the Jets lack 1 WR (Braylon?) and 1 TE.

    • TheJetPress

      I agree Korwil, I wouldn’t break the bank for the guy. But if he is cheap, he is talented. I too hope they will bring back Braylon as well.