Monday, February 18, 2013
The Keller tag possibility
By Tim Kavanagh
Based upon their current salary cap situation, the New York Jets can't afford to use their franchise tag at all this offseason. However, given the cuts that the club is reportedly considering -- including Calvin Pace, Bart Scott and Jason Smith -- they will have a little bit of wiggle room if they wanted to lock in one of their impending FAs.
The name most commonly mentioned as a franchise tag candidate for the Jets is TE Dustin Keller. The franchise tag for TEs this offseason has been projected by NFL.com to be just $5.962 million, and Rivers McCown of Football Outsiders believes that this is a reasonable price to pay:
Rivers McCown2013 franchise tag targets
"In 2012, he posted a 26.0 percent DVOA on 36 attempts, which was third in the league behind Rob Gronkowski and Anthony McCoy. That's such a small sample size that it's hard to believe that Keller is a genuine threat at tight end, especially when balanced against four years where his highest finish in DVOA was 22nd, but the Jets lose little by bringing him back for another season and seeing if he's made a leap in production. The tight end franchise tag costs just $5.96 million, and much like the Chiefs, the Jets are desperate for some kind of foundation for a passing game. Maybe Keller is a part of it, and maybe he isn't, but there are worse ideas than giving him a 'prove-it' year while they focus on their more glaring talent issues on offense."