New York Jets: Should Jeff Cumberland be starter?


Jeff Cumberland came to the New York Jets in 2010 as an undrafted free agent. The 6’4″/260 pound tight end goes into training camp entering his sixth year with the Jets. Todd Bowles was quoted earlier this spring that Cumberland would be the starting tight end this upcomingseason. Yet, the Jets have made some moves in the offseason at tight end and again after the injury to Zach Sudfeld.

Cumberland has been frustrating for most Jet fans that I’ve talked to about him. You want to root for the guy, he flashes the talent but then he virtually disappears for games at a time. It’s frustrating! He has delivered some big catches in his tenure with the Jets but he’s also blown big chances to contribute.

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Some fans have grown tired of waiting on Cumberland to develop into a consistent contributor for the Jets. His stats have never been impressive and his blocking game leaves quite a bit to be desired. Fans have begun to grumble and are hoping that someone can step up and end this experiment the Jets have been trying to be successful at for a few years now.

Cumberland’s first two years with the Jets saw him on the field very little, playing in just 4 games and posting three receptions in 2010 and 2011. Neither year did the big tight end see the end zone. Playing in fifteen games in 2012, Cumberland had a career high 29 receptions for the Jets.  Cumberland score three touchdowns in 2012 while posting 359 yards for the year.

It was supposed to be Cumberland’s year in 2013, expectations were he would build off his successes of 2012 and have a break out year. Sadly for the Jets, it turned out to be nowhere near expectations. The season saw him catching just 26 receptions for 398 yards. The following season, 2014 saw Cumberland’s numbers take a steep dive, posting just 23 receptions for a meager 247 yards.

The Jets signed Cumberland to a new three year deal last year for a reported $5.7 million dollars, with $1 million in guarantees. He counts as $1.9 million towards the salary cap this season. Not an excessively high number by any means, but fans want a lot more production from Cumberland in 2015.

Dec 21, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Jeff Cumberland (85) catches a touchdown pass against the New England Patriots during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Going into camp, the Jets have five tight ends on their roster. NFL veterans Steve Maneri and Kellen Davis along with youngsters Jace Amaro and Wes Saxton all will join Cumberland to compete for spots this summer. The question among fans is whether any one of them beat Cumberland out of his job.

Personally, I expect Cumberland to be around for the 2015 campaign. I think the writing may be on the wall for Cumberland however. His game will need to take it to the next level this year if he expects to remain a Jet in the future. He was rated last among tight ends to play in at least 25% of their teams snaps last season by Things need to change and change immediately for Cumberland.

Fans aren’t happy with him, but Cumbrland could be the best option for offensive coordinator Chan Gailey in 2015. Is there a tight end on the roster that can displace Cumberland as the starter? Who is your favorite to start at the position in 2015? We want to hear your opinions here at The Jet Press so please, leave us a comment and as always, Let’s Talk Jet Football!!

Next: New York Jets: Expectations for Devin Smith in 2015

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