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Dolphins agree to deal with TE Dustin Keller

The Miami Dolphins and tight end Dustin Keller are closing in on a deal that would bring the prospective New York Jets free agent to Miami.

According to league sources the sides are in the final stages of getting a deal done. Although there is no definitive agreement yet, both sides believe one will be done barring last minute snags.

Terms of this deal are not available.

[Update: The deal is done. It is for one year.]

Keller, 29 in September, has 241 catches in the 72 NFL games he's played the past five seasons. He was the New York Jets first round draft pick in 2008.

The Dolphins needed to add tight end help for multiple reasons including the fact they lost Anthony Fasano, the starter since 2008, to the Kansas City Chiefs via free agency.

The club also wanted to upgrade the position with superior pass catching.

Keller brings some of that. He has never caught fewer than 45 passes in a season he played all 16 games and that despite the Jets obvious troubles at quarterback.

Keller is not considered a great blocking TE. He is considered a better pass-catching threat than the Dolphins have had since Randy McMichael, who last played in Miami in 2006.

Keller visited the Dolphins on Wednesday and Thursday. He was looking for a long-term deal but his price was clearly beyond what the Dolphins were willig to pay long-term. By signing a one-year deal, the sides agreed Keller would have a chance to prove his true value in 2013 and return to free agency in 2014 for a chance to get a better deal.

The Dolphins were previously linked to Oakland's Brandon Myers but showed no significant interest in him.

Comments

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Oscar, don't you think if the priority was a blocking TE the Fins wouldn't have been looking at Cook or Keller?? Dashi sorta got this right. The WCO is run out of the shotgun almost every play. Most running plays, if you watch Green Bay are between the tackles, not outside. I don't believe a blocking TE is as important as you think in this system.

This guy consistantly kills us. Great move if for no other reason than he cant kill us anymore :D

Mark...

CUT AND PAST 12:09 to a word document.....

we will need it alot between now and september...

I love our moves love them all now we need a corner

Son, if you are in the Red Zone, what is preferable, to run a 2 TE set or a 4-5 wide spread? Please, don't make yourself look ridiculous here.

Oscar,

Dashi Has Been Saying Spread WCO.

Sherman Has Over 700 Plays In His Good Book!! More Than Half Of Them Are Pass Plays!!

We Need 5 Good Linemen!! With OG's That Can Pull!! And Hit The 2nd Level!!

TE's Don't Have To Be Big Blockers. TE's Aren't That Important!!

We Need At Least 4 Wr's that Can Stretch The Field!!

In the last 3 years like you said, JPAO,

Keller 40 games, 148 rec, 1,819 yards, 12tds
Fasano 46 games, 112 rec, 1,311 yards, 14tds

on a per game basis

Keller 3.7 rec, 45.5 yards, .3tds
Fasano 2.4 rec, 28.5 yards, .3tds

So you see keller is almost TWICE as productive yards wise while also putting up the same # of tds per game played. Under no metric is Fasano on par or even near the player Keller is. NO HOW NO WAY...

heck, even last year in 8 games Keller put up 317 yards while Fasano put up 332 in 16 games ...

Someone please explain to me how Fasano is anywhere near as dynamic as KELLER?? Then again this is all Mando's doing by putting this out there and then people not thinking for themselves.

dashi, you're right, oscar is wrong. period.

oscar think it's the 80's and te's need to block. in GB's WCO, look at the te's philbin had in GB, not one was a blocker before a receiver.

cook was a target & not a blocker. neither is keller.

but yea, we need a blocking te.

Mark,

I don't want to argue the point (because I'm not a Fasano backer nor a Keller hater), but...

You could also say Fasano is by far as better ALL-PURPOSE TE.

You could say Fasano stayed in to block much more than Keller, therefore wasn't used in the same way.

But saying Keller is the better TE for the pass game to me isn't inconsistent with the truth.

In cases like yours, we have to expose you to reality. You didn't like Keller here, did you, Dashi. You said it.

Oscar,

I Don't Have To Explain Myself.

But If You Want An Example Look At T-Hill's Season Highlights. Look At Most college offenses. Oklahoma, Oregon, WVU, Urban Myer, A&M, FSU, and Many More.

Another Example And This One Is Using Dansby.

Texans Game Couple Years Back. Schaub Lines Up From The Shotgun Inside The 5 And Runs A Qb Draw!!

Kris, hopefully this puts an end to that Fasano v keller argument that Mando nonsensically put in people's minds ... such rubbish

Love the signing. Ireland has enough room for a tackle and a corner still. I honestly could see no GAPING holes going into the draft. Then chosing best player available with 5 picks in the top 85 could create huge dividends.

Contract terms up on Sportrac... 1 year 4.25 mill

Did you like Keller here or not, Dashi?

I will say part of my reluctance on Keller is simply him being the enemy for so long. I HATED our guys that went to the Jets MORE because they went to the enemy, and I HATE the enemy.

So I will need to warm up to Keller (though I LOVE the idea of taking away the Jets main weapon and using him against them).

Im so happy with the move the team have made, Jeff you are doing a great job. I must say I had my doubt about you, but you are teaching me patience now I see that you had a master plan all this time. so I will be the first one to say I apologize Jeff Ireland

4.25 million seems fair. It gives both parties flexibility come next offseason.

DC, haven't you had enough with blocking TEs?? A 7th round plug can block as a TE ... let's get someone that makes LBs and Safeties put their hands on their knees in exhaustion after a play already ...

Right where Keller belongs (4.25). Good job GM!!!

good news...

now we definatley go CB or OT with pick 12....

I think Abraham will sign too....

DC...

have you BUMPED your head....

Fasano is garbage....and Keller is a better TE for the passing game...the STATS back them up...

game by game...

This one year signing is basically to see if Egnew can smarten himself up and learn for one more year. This way they can see if Egnew really can play. If so he will be the guy the following year. If not Miami goes through the draft or free agency for a long term solution.

Consistency!!

How Many Of You Are Going To Switch Back To We Should Sign Keller After Hearing This?

Keep Up The Good Work Ireland!!

Sign Keller!!
Bring Back Jake!!
And Sign A CB!!

And Free Agency Will Be A Success!!

Posted by: Dashi | March 15, 2013 at 11:33 AM

only thing I will change is Draft your corners, there to too expensive in free agency and the cheap one's tend not to be very good

Great move by Ireland. Team friendly deal which allows Phins to find a more long term solution for the future. Now if we can just get a good veteran corner, OT, and draft a starting CB, we'll be golden. Love the off season so far. Go Phins!

Dm...

4.25 mil....

i didn't think that was realistic....but I guess in a ONE YEAR term...it works for noth sides (obviously)....

Good Job Mr. Ireland...

INTELLIGENT SIGNING BY GENERAL MANAGER JEFFREY IRELAND. THIS MAKES THE COMPETITION IN TRAINING CAMP MORE COMPETITIVE ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BALL. NOW.... LET'S DRAFT SOME YOUNG HUNGRY PLAY MAKING DEFENSIVE BACKS IN THE DRAFT. WHAT DO I MEAN BY HUNGRY? DEFENSIVE BACKS WHO THINKS THAT WHEN THE FOOTBALL IS THE AIR GOING TO A TARGETED WR, THAT DEFENSIVE BACK THINKS THAT THE BALL WAS INTENDED FOR HIM TO MAKE A PLAY ON THE BALL, AS IF HE'S THE INTENDED WR. SOMEONE WHO TURNS THERE HEAD AROUND ALL THE TIME LIKE SEAN SMITH. DID I JUST SAY SEAN SMITH? I THINK THAT SOMEONE HACKED MY COMPUTER AND SAID THAT FOR ME. SORRY MR. IRELAND. I SAID SOMEONE LIKE A FMR SEMINOLE NICKNAMED PRIME TIME, DEION SANDERS. NOT SAYING THAT XAVIER RHODES IS ANYTHING CLOSE TO DEION SANDERS BUT HE HAS THE ABILITY TO GET HIS HEAD AROUND WHEN THE FOOTBALL IS IN THE AIR. ANOTHER DEFENSIVE BACK FROM NCST BY THE NAME OF DAVID AMERSON IS A BALL HAWK. LOUISVILLE CB ADRIAN BUSHELL IS ANOTHER PROSPECT. LET'S GET THEM BALL HAWKS NEXT MONTH. GO DOLPHINS!

Keller is young. I think this move is ominous for Egnew. He wouldn't have been brought up otherwise.

If the offense sputters, DON'T look to the GM. Look to the HC/OC/QB/QB Coach, but NOT Ireland.

Posted by: DC Dolfan | March 15, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Ireland is saving his job no matter the record....only thing left is to have a productive draft and he & his family stay near the beaches

TROLL where are you??? Please come back and explain to the entire blog how Keller would never sign once he left?? Please, tell us how awful Ireland is. Please sissy TROLL

Oscar,

Of Course I Didn't Like Keller He Was A Jet!!

But Dashi Knows Keller Fits Better Than Fasano and Can Play H-Back!! Which Will Probably Take Snaps Away From Clay and J.Lane!!

Keller Has More Position Flexibility Than Fasano!! Keller Can Line Up As A FB!! And Is Faster Than Clay And J.Lane!!

And Out Of The TE's In Free Agency!! When You Look At The Contract!! Ireland Got Value With Keller!!

GM SOD,

I Would Love A CB Thru The Draft. But Signing A B.Grimes And Releasing 1 Of The Overpaid CB's On The Roster Also Seems Like A Possibility.

Sign B.Grimes And A.Winfield. Cut R.Marshall And D.Patterson!!

Draft A CB High!! But Where You Can Get Some Value!!

#12 Pick Is Reserved For E.Lacy!! A.Peterson 2.0!!

Broder!

All this says to me is " step in the right direction, but still a temporary solution for an ongoing problem" if Keller doesn't work out

Keller,

We all know more then most what Keller is capable of. Hes a good player. Not great but a good player who can beat a safety or LB 1 on 1. Fasano couldn't do this enough. Fasano was more of a find a spot in a zone type. With defense playing their safeties over the top Keller is capable of exposing LBs in 1 on 1 matchups. Good signing!

Low risk as well. If it don't work out no big deal because it's a 1 year deal.


Lets hope Ireland can fix the oline in FA. I'm tired of drafting lineman with our 1st pick whilst watching players like JJ Watt and Von Miller go to other teams.

Fix the oline, a bit of help at CB and we're in a position to draft almost whomever we like to add the most talented players at rookie prices. That's how teams win.

By the way, I can't wait for the Jets games this year. If we give them a good enough beating we might even get Ryan sakced - Christmas come early.

How Does O.Kelly Still Have A Job After All His Erroneous reporting?

J.Abraham Has Not Visited The Fins!!

The Fins Aren't Adding Anonymous Sources This Year!!

oscar canosa,

I thought Keller's 29 at the start of the season? Egnew needs to learn from this guy.

dolf @ 12:29, you may have a point. Egnew getting scholarship time because athetlically he's as good as there is in the NFL at his position. Just needs to catch up mentally

I think there's still $ to sign another "goodie".

..Dashi..We have debated the offense for a few weeks. But I think we are freeking kidding ourselves if anyone thinks this is going to be the Green Bay Packer offense. First off Tannehill isn't Rodgers yet. This idea that our base offense is going to be 4 wide out of the shoutgun. To me is not reasonable.

First off it is a great way to get your quarterback killed. Second Tannehill is not an accomplished enough quarterback to be efficent in a 4 wide offense. You are talking like this is going to be the base offense..No freekin way. Nope nope nope. Sorry, but this team still has to run the freekin ball or Tannehill is going to be as effective as putting duct tape on a dam leak...

Sure we could see more 4 wide sets.Perhaps by even the later part of the year if the offense can do it we will se a lot of it. But I think we are living in fantasy land if we think this is going to look like the 2011 Packers this year..Even that offense had to evolve.

Look at the teams that use this formation a lot..What is the common denominator that these teams have that we do not???That is right Elite quarterback play...We may get there. But this is a difficult offense to run. It puts a lot of pressure on the quarterback to make good decisions, to be accurate. It pretty much eliminates the run game(even though you can, it is a sad sack run formation).. Dashi may be right..in another year. But No way this is our base offense this year..

Like CB?

Fasano vs Keller,

Forget the stat by stat comparison. We have all seen Keller kill the Dolphins LBs and safeties in 1 on 1 matchups time and time again. He was a guy I loved to hate when he was a jet. Now you can say well the Dolphins struggled covering every TE but on the flip side how many times did Fasano make other teams LBs or Safeties look bad in 1 on 1's?

Fasano is a better blocker but with the way this team is starting to shape with Mike Wallace, Keller could be a great pick up (early acorn). The safeties have to respect Wallace and his speed and that leaves Keller a chance to work the middle in 1 on 1s with a LB. Fasano vs LB doesn't do anything for me. Keller is much better in this scenario.

The WCO is run out of the shotgun almost every play.
Posted by: bobbyd12 | March 15, 2013 at 12:12 PM

What a badly informerd, very inaccurate comment to make. Complete inaccurate.

Dolphins cap now at $94.5M for next year ... SO MUCH LEFT ...


I hope we don't prioritise O linemen in the draft. Lets get Tannehill another playmaker on offense and teach him how to move in the pocket and release quickly like Eli Manning who has never had an oline worth the name. Punish teams stupid enough to blitz us.

Keller and Miller can be the checkdown safety nets, please no lineman at 12...

Good stop gap. Is Ireland finally learning to be a GM? Or is Philbin behind these moves?

..I'm not saying we aren't going to throw it more. I'm not saying we won't try and get the ball down field more. I just think how carried away some teams get in the pass game where it is a detriment. I think some of the smarter teams are using thr run more then most think. This doesn't mean you can't throw it. But it takes time to be an top rate passing offense. It doesn't happen overnight. And to me forcing the issue is a mistake. Whatever it takes to win. But I still think we have to have some balance..35-40 passes a game..I'm not sold.

OUTSTANDING POST Andy NJ @ 12:49...

anybody that has EVER watched a jets FINS game in the last 3 yeas should easily be able to comprehend the first patagraph of what you are saying....

anybody that has watched a FINS game in the last 5 years should easily get the 2nd part...

there is NOTHING to argue about...there is no Keller/Fasano debte...

One is an OK blocker...the other DC will have to game plan for...and with Wallace in the mux...GOOD LUCK...

Daryl D...

we got the TE we talked about last night...

its shaping up to be a good FA period...

Mark @ 12:24, yes. That's why I'm fine with Keller. I'd actually like someone even more dynamic (in the Jimmy Graham mold).

I like the fact we're moving to the 21st century when it comes to the TE position.

I just hope Sherman takes the training wheels off of Tannehill next season the kid needs to be in command of the offense, something Puke Henne never did

Ok Mr. Bidness, tell me many times you see Aaron Rodgers under the center before taking a snap. Tell us how many times Tom Brady or Peyton Manning is under the center. I will give you a clue, very few.

The days of the blocking TE are over. Graham, Gronk, Hernandez; they don't block, they score. In today's NFL Keller is a big upgrade over Fasano. Now sign Gibson and draft Ertz, the TE from Standford, with the second round pick and really spread the field. Tannehill has to be loving these moves by Ireland.

Kris,

thanks man!

with the 12th pick of the nfl draft the miami dolphins select eifert te notre dame.

that equals---ireland back in phin fans dog house for anohter year

were not drafting another TE this year especially with taking egcrap and signing Keller, wth are some of you thinking?

When I'm looking at the Miami cap hits for next year, two players stick out like a sore thumb ...

Richard Marshall @ $5.8M
Dimitri Patterson @ $4.6

They are #3 and #6 respectively ... if you axe both of them, you save $8.1M. That pus the $30m you are still under the cap, couldn't you find better players to man the position ... even if you still wait for Long??

Egrap won't make it through camp, Keller is coming off an injury plagued season, so absolutely I'm drafting another TE. Sherman can then send both TE's underneath while Wallace and Hartline go deep.


Dolphins cap now at $94.5M for next year ... SO MUCH LEFT ...

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | March 15, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Mark,

Solia, Starks, Incognito, Jerry & R. Jones are Free Agents next year. That's 5 starters. I doubt Starks & Soliai both come back. It's cutting it close to sign 4 starters money contracts if these draft picks don't start panning out. Plus a TE makes 5.

I fully expect Miami to draft 2 guards in this draft & not resign either Jerry or Incognito next year. They don't appear to fit a WCO guard who pulls and can get out in space.

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