According to multiple reports Jets tight end Jeff Cumberland has agreed to a three-year extension to remain with the team. The deal was struck just hours before Cumberland was set to hit the open market where he would have been allowed to start negotiating with other teams.
Extending Cumberland makes a ton of sense for the Jets as Cumberland, while certainly not a top end number one tight end, is still a matchup problem for defenses if he can just become more consistent and more importantly if the Jets can add playmakers around him. As the starting tight end, with only Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson being the only two other viable options, Cumberland is only capable of so much, but if the Jets can add another tight end or two and two or three receivers he suddenly becomes a much bigger weapon.
According to ESPN New York’s Rich Cimini the Jets, “have varying degrees of interest in Jermichael Finley and Brandon Pettigrew.” Finley likely won’t cost much after having spinal fusion surgery last season, but for all the talent he has he drops catchable passes way too often and also offers next to nothing as a blocker.
At 6’5″ 263 lbs. Pettigrew has been a bit of a bust after the Lions drafted him in the first round of the 2009 draft, he has the size and speed to make plays as a tight end but has never been able to put it all together. With no elite, or even close to elite, tight ends available (that won’t cost two first round draft picks and an insane amount of money) the Jets have to focus on building depth at the tight end position and hope they can find a stud somewhere in the draft.
For the past few years the Jets have been incredibly thin at the position so it should be encouraging to fans that this year the plan seems to be to make sure they don’t make the same mistake again.
Currently the tight end group consists of Cumberland, Zack Sudfeld and Chris Pantale, expect that number to grow by at least one veteran and one rookie by the time training camp opens up.