Jets News

“Out the Door”, or “Back for More”: TE Edition

By Alan Schechter
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Dec 30, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets tight end Konrad Reuland (87) during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Jets 28-9. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Well, we have it the QB’s, RB’s, and WR’s so far, in our quest to evaluation the roster and play fantasy GM. Now it is time to take a look at the tight ends, and see who should be back, and who should be gone:

KONRAD REULAND:(Hey if I started with Keller you wouldn’t read the rest of this)

Here was a guy signed at the Labor Day “mini-draft”, as Mike Tannenbaum put it. Nobody really knew who he was, but he was primarily thought of as a run blocking tight end. He ended up doing a decent job as a receiver as well, with 11 catches for 83 yards. He surprisingly had a decent pair of hands, and was an asset in the passing game. He only makes $390,000, so it’s not as if he is a big hit to the salary cap. However, with the return of Dedrick Epps and Josh Baker next year, I don’t see that there will be room for this guy. My feeling is that Reuland will be………

OUT THE DOOR

JEFF CUMBERLAND: So, what do we do with Jeff Cumberland farms? At $540,000, he too doesn’t make a great deal of money against the salary cap. He was active in the passing game, as he only had one game in which he was active, where he didn’t record a reception. For the season, he finished with 29 receptions to go along with 359 yards and 3 TDs. Being active for 15 games clearly showed his durability, which was a problem for a certain other tight end that we will discuss later.

He did have some problems with recognizing defenses. There were a few times during the season when you would see Cumberland hit in the backside because he wasn’t aware that a pass was coming. That is one thing that he needs to become better at, recognizing the defense and being on the same page as the quarterback. However, I really like his speed, and when he is aware, his hands. He is an asset to the passing game, and would be a low cost option going forward as a primary receiving tight end. Jeff Cumberland should be……..

BACK FOR MORE

continued on the next page

Nov. 22, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Hayden Smith before the game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

HAYDEN SMITH:

This guy is the quintessential work in progress. He never played football before 2012 and came to the states and worked his way up. He started on the practice squad, and by the end of the season, he made his way to the active roster, recording a catch in week 16 against the Chargers. There is no reason not to bring this guy back. He absolutely should be…

BACK FOR MORE

JOSH BAKER/DEDRICK EPPS:

I wanted to take these two guys together since they were both on injured reserve, Baker from the preseason and Epps after the regular season began. Neither of these guys make a lot of money, so that isn’t an issue. Epps recorded one catch in the game against the 49ers before he was lost for the year. Baker had an unfortunate injury during the preseason that cost him the 2012 season.

Baker showed a lot of potential as a weapon in the passing game, while Epps was average at best. They both could definitely be at camp for a tryout, but the way I see it, Josh Baker will be…

BACK FOR MORE

while Dedrick Epps will be…..

OUT THE DOOR

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

DUSTIN KELLER:

OK, it’s time to talk about the big guy. Dustin Keller. How do we handle the big guy, DK? His contract is up, as we all know, so it’s decision time. He is one player that takes a lot of debate. He is just on the border line of being an elite TE when he is healthy. When Brett Favre was here, he told Keller that he wished he had gotten to play with him earlier in his career. Last season, Dustin Keller led the team with 65 catches for 815 yards. He has recorded 241 receptions and 17 TDs over his five year career. We know how the quarterback feels about him.

His problem in 2012 became his durability. He was hampered by a hamstring problem that he incurred during the preseason, and never got fully over it, and was only active for 8 games. If he was trying to show that he was tough, and deserving of a new deal, he didn’t really have much success. He made it clear that he wanted a new contract during the preseason, but didn’t too much to show he deserved it. They could give him the “franchise” tag, but if they don’t want him around, that would be a waste. I am a big fan of Dustin’s, but I just don’t know if you can count on him going forward, as he seems to be a bit soft. It pains me to say it, but Dustin Keller would be…….

OUT THE DOOR

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