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
Earlier this week, we talked about what has become the curious case of Dustin Keller. We talked about how he has been hurt for most of the past season, but before that was a leader for this team, and one of the most effective receivers.
We also know the importance of the tight end in the Marty Mornhinweg system. What we haven’t talked about lately is how Dustin feels about the situation. Well, we have finally heard from him, as he told the New York Post that if he had his way, he would prefer to be back with the team, as free agency presents an unknown:
“Yeah, I’d like to return,” he said. “I have a lot of great friends on the team, and I’ve always thought of myself as a key piece of the offense there, but if I’m not there that’s fine, too. There are no hard feelings. I understand it’s a business for the Jets, but at this point it’s a business decision for me as well.”
He wanted to sign a contract prior to last season, but had no hard feelings about the fact that he didn’t. He also wanted to remind teams that, despite this past year’s injuries, he has been quite durable in the past:
“The thing I wants teams to realize is that I played my first four years in the NFL without missing a single practice, let alone a game,” Keller said. “I’m not some injury-prone player that teams have to worry about. Both of my injuries were non-contact injuries, so they were just fluke incidents. I don’t think people realize that there is a 100-percent injury rate for players in the NFL, and my injuries were minor.”
It doesn’t appear that the Jets are going to franchise Keller, so we will see soon enough, how big of a priority Dustin Keller is.