Since this is his contract year and this is putting a damper on things, I actually wouldn't mind him sticking around for a reasonable rate after this season. Dude is a mismatch just waiting to be exploited, when he catches balls. I'd love to see this whole offense healthy and actually making catches. I don't see why he gets so much hate from his own fanbase though..
I agree with you. Killer-Keller has killed several games with drops in the red zone. Its time for us to develop a real TE. Cumberland is faster and has better hands. He is also starting to be a better blocker as well. Epps is also an interesting TE and so is Reuland. In fact Reuland might be our most athletic TE. I no longer worry about Keller!
Its time for Mark to grow up without his security blanket and develop chemistry with other players. Learn to use all the players surrounding him and elevate their play! He gets paid to do that and needs no new excuses for not measuring up!
I respectfully disagree.
Cumberland is faster, but does not have better hands. He's been responsible for several drops. Like you, I love when he does get the ball in his hands. But his drop ratio is about the same as Keller's.
A recent tape analysis found on this board (from the All-22 game tape) found that Cumberland completely whiffed on a few blocks. From that analysis, I can't say Cumberland is anywhere near a good blocker. Now, he may improve, but as of right now most who know his blocking would say its mediocre until proven otherwise. I do agree that Epps and Reuland are both interesting.
About "growing up" without a security blanket: This is largely created by the media. Sanchez finds Kerley / Holmes / Epps / Reuland / Cumberland / Hill just fine. Hill, Holmes, Cumberland et al. seem to always have a painful drop per game. It hits them in the hands, their eyes are on it, and the ball ends up on the ground. Perhaps its the other way - perhaps they have to expect that when the ball is near, it is time to swing around and frame the body for the catch. Do people think that Sanchez "needs" keller to be there? Seems to me that they pulled out a win last week. Keller helps, sure (runs crisp routes, catches the ball more often than not) but as long as the "miscues" also include Sanchez hitting a WR in the hands, then I can't think that its Sanchez who is "missing his security blanket". At least the baby is reaching for other blankets! (to extend the metaphor.)