Dustin Keller was expected to make a big impact for the Miami Dolphins last season on a one-year deal, but an ACL tear in the preseason prevented him from being a part of the Dolphins passing attack. The silver lining for the Dolphins was the emergence of Charles Clay as a top weapon at the tight end position, and the Dolphins have four talented pass-catchers around Ryan Tannehill going into the 2014 season in Brian Hartline, Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson, and Clay.
The former New York Jets tight end recently spoke to SB Nation’s Matt Conner about coming back from his injury (among other things), and he stated at the end of the interview that he has interest from some NFL teams. Keller said, “I definitely have some teams that are interested right now, and I may start getting involved in that process. The main thing is getting healthy, and I’m definitely there. I can run. I can work now. I’ll be ready to go for the season, so I’ll start looking into that stuff. But my health was the most important thing for me to focus on and make sure I’m coming back 100 percent. So there are teams that have showed some interest, but we’ll see what happens in the next few weeks or months.”
It’s unsurprising to hear that teams are showing interest in Keller, who consistently produced at a solid level while starting at tight end for the Jets. He would be an excellent No. 2 TE for a few clubs, and it will be interesting to see if the New England Patriots show interest in Keller, who would join his third AFC East team if signed by the Pats.
At this point in time, I fully expect Keller to sign with a team after the draft, because then his market will be clearer and the teams considering adding a TE in the draft will sign on Keller if they don’t end up with “their guy”. Even though he is 29 and coming off of an ACL tear, Keller still has good seasons left in him and should have a solid impact on his new club in 2014. He’ll be looking at another one-year deal with incentives, and I’m sure he’ll be working out for a team in no time. It’s also great to hear that he’s fully healthy, though this isn’t surprising since he’s pretty far removed from the injury and has progressed nicely from it.