After a quiet Day 2 of free agency, the Miami Dolphins spent the third day meeting with unrestricted free agents at their facility including tight end Dustin Keller. After meeting with Keller for the majority of the past 24 hours, the two sides were not able to agree on a contract however communication remains between the Dolphins and Keller in efforts that a deal can eventually be completed.
With the departure of Anthony Fasano to Kansas City on a four year deal, the Dolphins were left with a void at tight end. The addition of the 28 year old Keller would have provided Miami with a reliable pass catcher who is a threat in the redzone. His blocking is adequate however he makes up for it with impressive speed for a tight end. Keller is a difficult cover for linebackers and safeties due to his athleticsm as well as still having untapped potential despite finding success in a system that was a challenge to thrive in. The move could have also weakened a division rival by creating even more holes in a Jets offense that struggled mightly to move the ball last season. Keller was a candidate for the franchise tag however the decision was ultimately passed on considering the Jets lack of salary cap room with other needs to address.
Over the first five years of his NFL career, Keller has 241 recpetions for 2,876 yards to go along with 17 touchdowns. Before missing eight games in 2012, Keller never missed a game in four seasons in the league. Although he only played half the season, he recorded a respectable 317 yards on 28 recpetions with 2 touchdowns.
It's unclear what the Dolphins plans are going forward in terms of the tight end position however there are not many viable options left on the market. Following Keller, Fred Davis is the next best tight end who would fit in the Dolphins system but there has been minimal interest from the team at this point. Another player to monitor is Green Bay's Jermichael Finely who's future is up in the air. If he's released, I would expect Miami to pursue the 25 year old. Even if the Dolphins sign a free agent tight end as planned, there is a good chance they draft one as well with one of their middle round picks considering the uncertainty surrounding the current players on the roster at the position.