Posted March 15, 2013

Dustin Keller signs with Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins, NFL Free Agency
Dustin Keller's addition is further proof that Miami is investing in Ryan Tannehill. (Rich Graessle/Icon SMI)

Dustin Keller’s addition is further proof that Miami is investing in Ryan Tannehill. (Rich Graessle/Icon SMI)

Prior to missing eight games to injury last season, Dustin Keller had established himself as one of the more reliable tight ends in football. He made at least 45 catches every season from 2008-11 and topped out with 65 grabs in ’11.

The Dolphins would be more than happy with that type of production, hence their signing of Keller to a one-year deal on Friday.

Keller will replace Anthony Fasano as the Dolphins’ No. 1 tight end — Fasano signed with the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this week. QB Ryan Tannehill ought to be fine with that transition, given that Fasano averaged a pitiful 8.1 yards on his 41 catches last season; Fasano also had never made more than 39 grabs prior to 2012.

Miami made no secret of its desire to upgrade at tight end, either, using a third-round pick in last year’s draft on Michael Egnew. The Missouri product was a massive disappointment, though, and was not even active for a game until late in the season. He made no catches during his rookie campaign.

So, barring an offseason breakthrough from Egnew, Keller will pair with the versatile Charles Clay as Miami’s top two tight ends. Keller’s arrival and Mike Wallace’s recent signing substantially increases the talent around Tannehill, putting more pressure on the young QB to deliver.

Keller might do wonders for Tannehill’s progression. He caught 28 of the 36 passes thrown his way last season for a sparkling 77.8 percent catch rate, per Pro Football Focus. The Dolphins certainly can use that kind of a reliable target.

Grade: A-minus. This sort of falls at the opposite end of the spectrum from the splashy, high-priced Wallace move. Picking up Keller is a savvy move, especially on a one-year, “Prove it”-type of deal. The talented tight end should be plenty motivated to perform.

5 comments
pickle
pickle

As a Jets fan, I can say this is just a damn shame. I know money is tight and some people have to leave, but Keller was literally our ONLY solid, reliable offensive weapon (Holmes is talented but is an absolute cancer like T.O. always was, he hinders the offense more than he helps it). 

Oh well. Miami, looks like you will be the new number 2 team in the AFC East for the next few years here. 

JackWilliams
JackWilliams

Poor reporting when the actual contract is not even mentioned other than it is a one year deal.

ChickenWolf
ChickenWolf

 @JackWilliams so you would rather not know about Keller signing with the Dolphins until every detail is revealed? You do realize that if they waited, others within the NFL media would have announced it first and it would no longer be news by the time SI reported it? Reporting is a business and reporting the story before others get the chance is a way to drive viewers to your site/page.

BryanCustard1
BryanCustard1

 @ChickenWolf  @JackWilliams and SI does it while remaining fairly accurate, other news sources rush to the press with stories that are not only incomplete, but actually wrong

JackWilliams
JackWilliams

 @BryanCustard1  

 Actually, other sources stipulated that 'terms are not yet available' if they are not. Most readers are very interested in the terms of every deal, and want to know the terms right up front - not search through an entire story for something never mentioned. How can the author give a grade of 'A-minus' without even knowing the terms of the deal?