The Tennessee Titans and TE Jared Cook couldn’t agree on terms and the Titans chose to forgo tagging Cook. With Cook likely being lost to free agency, the Titans have a new hole to fill at tight end. How well would Dustin Keller fill that gap?
Well, Keller hasn’t been the most exciting TE in the league but he’s also had to work with Mark Sanchez for almost his entire career, a guy who’s career completion percentage is currently hovering at 55.1%. I’ve always thought Keller was better than his numbers. He’s a physical TE with some pretty good hands who has made Sanchez look better than he actually is for the past four years.
Here’s a look at his stats over his first five years in the league, courtesy of NFL.com:
The Titans can’t hand over the reins to TE Taylor Thompson yet, at least, he doesn’t seem ready to be the top TE right now. Keller is about as fine of a replacement as the Titans could ask for. He can block, he can catch, and he’s proven to be a great outlet for young QBs who need safety valves.
As far as money goes, Keller should be available for a much more manageable sum then what Cook was asking for. In 2012, Keller made just under $4 million with all his bonuses included. The Titans could perhaps grab Keller with a contract that averaged somewhere around $5 million a year, which is $1 million less than the franchise tag for TEs this year.
The Titans wanted to bring Cook back as their long-term option. With him fading from the picture, the Titans will have to look at all the free agents and see if they see another guy who fits the bill, a guy who can come in and immediately produce and help this team make a playoff push in 2013.
Keller looks like a suitable option.
I’ll leave you with those thoughts and a Dustin Keller highlight reel:
You can find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart