easy, sanchez doesnt utilize his tes the way they should be used. many blamed schotte it didnt improve with sparano either. sanchez doesnt throw an accurate enough pass for kellers liking friends or no friends bring in another qb and we have an elite te in keller.
Who would you rather instead of Keller ? An All-Pro
Not quite. I'd prefer a cheaper TE who can actually block like Fasano. Not having a blocking TE who could seal the edge on running plays and help pick up the blitz in pass protect killed our offense last season among other problems and exacerbated Sanchez's TO's.
I would love to see Keller come back but we can't sit here and pretend that we can unless he's willing to take less to stay with the Jets. He's a good player that can surely get more from another team and if he happened to take less it would tell a lot of the overpaid greedy jerks on the team a little about having a conscience.
Whether it's Mark Sanchez, Brett Favre, Tom Brady, Akili Smith or Joe Montana, you need to be able to catch the football consistently, especially if you can't block a five year-old, and Keller hasn't. His hands are the main reason he has not become a top tier receiving TE, because other than them he has the skill set to be one.
I love how this franchise continues to alienate it's supposed blue chip players. The guys we invested high picks in.
Keller is blue chip? When did that happen? He's a tight end who can't block and just spent an entire season on the injury report. He's not as fast or as dynamic as the elite receiving tight ends like Graham or Hernandez and he's a total liability in run blocking and pass protection. Give me a more complete tight end like Fasano. We can even take the kid Eifert from ND with one of the picks we get for Revis to be our new receiving TE he's got better size than Keller.
Get rid of Cumby too he is an even crappier version of Keller.
I don't think projecting a salary in the $3M range (roughly half the franchise tag amount) for Keller is over-rating him at all. It's the economic reality of NFL free agency.
In the new economics of the NFL, you get low pay your first 3 years on your rookie deal, then you get bigger pay in Free Agency.
A lot of players with less of a career history than Keller have been paid a lot more in FA. Decent slot receivers pull down $5M - $6M in FA. Good CBs are getting $9M-$10M in FA. I don't think it's a stretch to project a proven, mid-level, NFL starting TE to get $3M a year.
And, personally, I don't even rate Keller all that highly. Maybe he squeaks in the top half (i.e top 16) of NFL starting TEs, but that's about it. But, in an environment where even players like Jeff Cumberland are being considered with $2M price tags, Keller will get somewhere between $3M and $4M IMO.
It won't be the 6 year, $30M with $15m guaranteed type deal he probably thought he was going to get - more like 3 years, $10M or 4 years, $14M with around $5M guaranteed.
Considering Gronks injury history more reason for Keller. BB can never have enough TEs. WCO teams in need of a TE will have interest in Keller.
Don't forget about the fact that Jake Ballard will be coming back. I doubt they'll need Keller to fill that fourth string TE role, because that's what he'd be up there. I think Miami, with Fasano a FA and them becoming a more passing team, would be a good fit for him.