As expected, the New York Jets have signed tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. The Jets brought Kellen Winslow Jr. to mini-camp for a tryout this week and he quickly caught the eye of the coaching staff. Probably the most accomplished receiving threat on the field, Kellen Winslow Jr. showed flashes of the athleticism he was known for earlier in his career when healthy. He has the ability to be a true matchup problem for defenses, something the Jet have been looking for on offense.
The New York Jets may have found an answer at tight end in Kellen Winslow Jr. The former first round pick and University of Miami star was brought in for a tryout this week at Jets' minicamp. Kellen Winslow Jr. impressed the coaching staff early on and continued to have strong practices throughout the three-day mini-camp. As a result, the team decided to offer him a contract.
After losing Dustin Keller to the Miami Dolphins this offseason, it was assumed that the Jets would do something to address their tight end position. The bust period of free agency came and went, as did the 2013 NFL Draft, without any real help at tight end added. The Jets grabbed undrafted free agents to compete for a roster spot, but it seemed as though Jeff Cumberland would be leaned on very heavily as the odds-on favorite to start without any experience behind him.
While Kellen Winslow Jr. is far from a sure thing, he is a veteran option that provides some credibility to the position, with upside if healthy. He will take some pressure off of Jeff Cumberland to be the main option at tight end, and the Jets can now bring along Hayden Smith the way he should be – as a project player expected to take baby steps as the third tight end on the depth chart.
Kellen Winslow Jr. isn't a long-term solution. The Jets signed him to a one year deal, much like the LaRon Landry signing last season. It's an opportunity for Kellen Winslow Jr. to prove that he's healthy and can play at a high level once again, then the Jets can make a decision next offseason whether they want to keep him around or move in another direction. This deal buys time for the Jets at tight end without an obvious answer long-term on the roster.