Titans to Pursue Free Agent TE Dustin Keller?

Oct 28, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Dustin Keller (81) celebrates after completing a first down against the Miami Dolphins during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

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

 

Topics: Dustin Keller, Free Agency, Tennessee Titans

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  • josh gunnels

    I would be totally happy with Keller. Solid player that knows how to get open without having elite speed.

    • http://www.titansized.com/ Justin Stewart

      Right? Much cheaper than Cook and can even block. He’d be good for Jake.

      • dboi

        I would rather lock in cookie but hes high off life right now.. or off something else lol

        • http://www.titansized.com/ Justin Stewart

          Agreed. If only… Looks like he’s going to disappear

        • http://www.facebook.com/bennie.guardado Bennie Guardado

          Call me crazy, but I think getting Keller is a much better move than trying to keep Cook. Even if Cook wanted to stay a Titan. Look at their production over the last two years, it is almost identical. Plus Keller comes with run blocking ability and a cheaper price tag. I personally would rate Dustin Keller higher than Jared Cook at this point in their careers. Cook might have a larger upside in the future but actions speak louder than words. I want them to sign Keller and not look back.

          • dboi

            I feel u brotha, I was only saying id keep cookie instead because he was drafted by titans, showed star quality, but all that went out the window after his ego grew and thought he was already a star before earning merit. Keller the titans and fans welcome u with open arms!!:D I really hope it happens

          • http://www.facebook.com/bennie.guardado Bennie Guardado

            “his ego grew and thought he was already a star before earning merit.” This sums it up perfectly.

          • http://www.titansized.com/ Justin Stewart

            Basically. Too bad. Shame to have to wave goodbye to the talent.

      • http://www.facebook.com/bennie.guardado Bennie Guardado

        Haha, Keller has training catching from inaccurate QBs, he would be a good fit for Locker. :) The more I think about this, the more I like the idea. I wonder if this is a real expectation in the front office.

        • http://www.titansized.com/ Justin Stewart

          The idea really grew on me as I wrote this.They have been in contact with his agent… ;) I think it’s a real possibility.

  • dboi

    That would be a great idea he looked awesome coming back from his injury last season. With sanchez on the bean bag gun his potential shows but will never be maximized. Cj and locker would benefit greatly and show ppl wat keller can really do

    • http://www.titansized.com/ Justin Stewart

      Agreed. I think he’s a solid addition in place of Cookie. Brings a blocking aspect and has been pretty good with a terrible QB in NY.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shawn.eagle.58 Shawn Eagle

    So he would play with a guy that has 56% completion rate and be better?
    I like Keller…more complete TE

    • http://www.titansized.com/ Justin Stewart

      I like Keller as well. He’d be a solid addition. He’s the FA I’ve got my heart set on for the TE position.

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