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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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DC, this is going to sound retarded but we do have a guy as athletic as Jimmy Graham in Michael Egnew. Problem is he seems to play football at the pro level as well as Billy Graham for wahtever reason ...

COME ON LIGHTBULB!!!

Long leaves Rams without a deal. How many people think he will be a Dolphin by tomorrow?

DRAFT,

It looks pretty clear Miami is using a few early round picks on CBs.

Desmond Trufant
Xavier Rhodes
Blidi Wreh-Wilson
Jordan Poyer
Tyrann Mathieu (doubt it)
Jonathan Banks

I wouldn't worry about those starters, we probably approach free agency the same as we did this year as you allude to. Pick out Jones, probably Starks as must signs and the rest take sign it or leave it deals at the modest end of salary ranges.

No reason to not continue to be aggressive this year. Pull a Blue Jays .. you started something big .. now finish it.

It would be nice going into this draft without NEEDING to draft a position and just taking BPA every round and creating competition at those spots.

OK this signing helps Tannehill (now he has a proven escape valve) and makes Dolphins' draft much easier.

I have lots of faith in Dustin, he can get a big long-term contract next year if he stays healthy and learns to ride the seam like DolFANS want. Welcome to the team Bro!!!!!

Now if we can get more players from FA that would be cool, we still need two CBs and an OT "badly" I guess, but FA is already a success and we have enough picks to get whatever else we need from the draft.

If Ireland is determined to get an additional OT from FA and Long signs elsewhere I hope we get a RT instead, so we can find out what we really have in J. Martin at last.

Bobby, only if they get him as cheap as they want. I'd pay him dirt at this point. Nobody going to pay more than the Dolphins. He is damaged goods. Perhaps with a contract with stipulations like Wallace got about injury. If hurt(career over) he gets $3M, like a settlement/security blanket. He shouldn't be breaking the bank by any means.

Armando tweeted earlier that Jake Long is still a B rated Left Tackle which is a fair assessment. He also said those are hard to find. For what it's worth I'd like to see Long back so the draft progresses the way it should which is BPA for the most part instead of having to fill too many needs.

bobby @ 1:18. I'm hopeful. And given how Ireland structures deals, I don't think it will be one that hangs over our cap like the Sword of Damacles (sp?)

Mark in Toronto - don't take me as arguing here...I'm truly not. I like the signing and I feel he will serve us well. Really happy with the one year approach.

The difference between 2 catches vs. 3 per game is not significant at all. Both have had minimal roles in their total offense. This is further evidenced by the .2 TD's per game.

I was reacting to your comparison to similar between Hartline and Johnson. It's just not the case. Clearly Johnson has been a much more impactful player than Hartline. I just don't see Keller being so much more impactful than Fasano. Keller has more yards per catch but Fasano is considered a better blocker. Given the TD and volume of catches have been minimal for both the real game to game impact could be argued in the blocking that Fasano contributed.

Again...it's really not that big of a deal to me...Happy that we have a starting TE entering the draft.

DD,

All Valid And Great Points.

Agreed. It Is Not Going To Be 4 Wide!! All The Time. More Like 60% Of The Time.

Dashi Wants Jake Back!! Or A LT!! For This Reason!! Having A Good Solid O-Line!! With OT's That Can Control Their Side!! Is Essential For This Offense. I Understand That Ireland Won't Overpay For It. And Jake Should To.

The Fins Will Not Release Bess And Are Looking Forward To Having Bess and Gibson In The Slot!! Name 1 LB!! That Can Cover Bess Or Gibson.

T-Hill Was Already Making 2nd And 3rd Reads Last Year. He Can Manage Making 1 More This Year. Specially If The Line Gives Him More Time!!

And We Have The 1 Thing Nobody Wants To Talk About Because Sherman Made Us Forget!! T-Hill Can Run!! Dashi Hopes The Leash Is Off In Year 2!! If All 4 Wr's Are Down The Field!! And T-Hill Sees A Running Lane!! Let Him Run!! T-Hill Can Pick Up 40-50 Yds a Game!! With 2-3 Timely Scrambles!!

Why wouldn't we draft a TE?? Keller is a one year deal, Egnew is still a question mark. If one of the big three is there, Eiffert, Ertz or Escobar I would think the Dolphins have to consider it. One of these guys being developed properly would be a big bonus. That is the ultimate way to draft, best player available instead of "needing" that player to come right in and start. I would not be upset at all if Miami grabs one of these guys in the draft.

Almost forgot, like the Keller signing a lot.

Mark, next year FA discussion, Don't forget about the draft this year. There replacements could already be in the works. I am assuming they will draft a safety to replace Clemons, wouldn't be suprised about Guards or a DT either. Starks probably only has a few (if that) good years left.

Andy, really like the first four CBs you mentioned but really hate the last two. I think they are the worst of the 20 CBs I looked at going into this draft. Banks in particular is athletic crud. Who ever rated this guy???

Take a look at Dwayne Gratz of UConn with a 2nd round grade. 5'11, 200 lbs, runs a 4.47, 20 reps on the bench and faired very well on his athletic drills. Has a 2nd rund grade attached to him but nobody speaks of him ...

the only "mistake" that could be argued with how Ireland handled TE might be that the team would be better having Keller and Fasano as their 1-2 punch. IF we had kept Fasano for blocking and red zone and added Keller for seam threat that would be much more impactful.

All things considered, I think Jake Long would rather stay in Miami. After 3 days, St. Louis finally made him an offer, but he didn't sign it. And, it looks like Miami is the team that wants him more, but at a reduced rate.

Mark Agreed.

Cut The 2 CB's!! And Sign At Least 1 Better One!! While We Wait For Jake!!

CB and OT Are 2 Biggest Needs Right Now!! And The Fins Still Have A lot Of Cap Space!!
Ireland Is Schooling Everyone Right Now!!


Long will likely get injured at some point. Any contract needs to inlcude incentives for playing time - add the incentives and it might reach closer to the numbers he want's to be published by the press (for the sake of his ego). So long as the cap hit doesn't come in 2014.

He shall probably need to be rotated during some games to keep him healthy. I expect we'll have a 20+ point lead during the Jets games so maybe he sits out the 4th qtr...

Common Sense making sense today. This years draft will be the next two years of cleaning out cap space. Older guys with bigger cap hits will need to be cleared out to make room. Ireland has this pieced together nicely

Long is screwed. The big money spenders are all gone with the exception being his old team. Everyone now is looking for bargains.

He has little to choose from & no one will give him big money at this point, only 1-2 year prove it deals.

Ireland should average what every tackle has gotten this FA persiod and subtract 15% from it & say take it or leave it. 3 years max because he'll be done. Back load it to death & give him $2 mil or so up front. If anyone is not going to see the end of the contract, it's Long.

All the big spenders are gone. Time for Long to sh*t or get off the pot!

R Marshall will absolutely be one of the starting CBs on this team next year, no question. Draft another depending on how they feel about Paterson. I'd say they keep him also and see who is playing the slot, Patterson or Rook. Book it.

LATEST from NFL.COM

With Miami signing weapons on both sides of the ball, the Dolphins -- reportedly with $17 million in cap space after signing tight end Dustin Keller -- can still make a push to re-sign Long. The Rams reportedly were "hammering out a deal" with the tackle, but that process grew lengthy, partly because of Long's injury history. How much do you fork over to a player with a trail of back, shoulder, biceps, triceps and knee maladies?

Long was cleared medically by the Rams, but the Dolphins haven't given up on re-signing him, and likely can come closer than the competition to the reported $11 million per year being sought by the tackle.

Sign Long Draft Lacy!!

E.Lacy Can Run With No O-Line!!

E.Lacy Can Gain 1 Yard With 10 In The Box!!

If R.Williams And Chuck Norris Were Related... E.Lacy Would Be Next Of Kin.


I will temper any enthusiasm I have for these signings until I see what it produces come December. In the summer of 2010 Chad Henne was set to make the big leap with the addition of Brandon Marshall. The Dolphins signed Karlos Dansby to make him the highest paid MLB in the game. We were ready to roll. I hope that this time around, things will be different.

Don't pay Long any more than $8.5m per year. Not worth it...according to the market.

Hope Garner gets signed as he can play G/T as backup....valuable.

Ok, I like the Keller signing on two levels. First, we have a very good seem threat now, as keller will demand more than just a linebacker for coverage and this drastically improves the passing game now with the addition of Wallace. Second, we don't need to draft a TE in the first round just to have competition for Lulu, AKA Egnew.

And for you Herald IT folks; before posting a picture of Keller on your Website, you could at least Photoshop the Jets jersey off of him or something to that effect. Have some class and PLEASE don't post that stupid Jets jersey crap again!

OK....get Tackle resolved one way or the other and see if we can get a 1-2 year deal don with Freeney or OSI

Another wise move by the Fins. Not used to saying that much these days!

Now scoop either Abraham or Freeney from the Pats!! Pats have them both visiting. Fins still need a situational pass rusher and these are two of the best at that, even at this point in their careers. Think Jason Taylor during his last few years.

The Fins cannot understimate the need to get to the QB in a pass happy league and Wake needs help.. Solidify the secondary with one to two FA's, and grab one pass rusher, and we go into the draft in excellent shape.

He's still looking at $11 per? LMAO!

ONE team, COUNT EM, ONE! Has brought him in!

Based on what healthier players got this offseason at his position, he'll be lucky to get $5-6 per. Anything more and Ireland is a darn fool!

y

Mark Toronto,

I hear you on Banks I was just naming him for the sake of naming him. I like Trufant the best of the bunch, best ball skills. Xavier Rhodes is a wildcard IMO. I just hate when I see scouts say if he don't work out at CB he can play safety to me that means he's a bust.

I also think an early pick is used on a WR in round 2 like Stedman Bailey, Swope types. Miami still needs guy who can hurt you in space and in 1 on 1 matchups after the catch.

BOYCOTT THE FINS UNTL IRELAND IS FIRED! WE'RE TIRED OF THE LOSING! BOYCOTT AND HELP MAKE THE CHANGE!

Boycott, get lost and don't ever come back. This is the best we have seen in a looong time. Take your childish vendetta elsewhere. I personally will be buying extra Dolphins stuff now cause of losers like you.

Jake long has left St.Louis without a contract.

Jackie Is Leaving St.Louis!!

The Fins Will Be Doing More Winning Than The Rams!!

Jake Think About It? Protect T-Sizzle Or Bradford?

Who Do The Rams Have at RB and WR?

As Coach?

Jake Make The Right Decision!! Go Out To Eat With The New Offense!! The Dolphins Are The Better Team!! The Rams Still Have To Play Seattle and San Fran!! 4 Times A Year!!

Think About It Jake!!

If we draft 2 CBs this year I would go all-out for David Amerson and Darius Slay in the second round.

On the other hand I still can't find the price Dolphins paid for TE Keller anywhere!!!???

Jake Long And 2 CB's!!

And Ireland Would've Done The Impossible!! Fill All The Holes Before The Draft!!


Apprently the Patriots are hosting Emmanuel Sanders, a restricted FA from the Steelers.

He's about to turn 26, he hasn't had much production until this season, on a Steelers team that struggled with the new Offense and Roethlisbergers injury.

He would cost a 3rd pick and the patriots would have to outbid the Steelers.

Does this make sense for the Dolphins? More upside than Gibson, younger than Bess, a chance to set the Steelers back further and stop the Patriots from adding to their offense.

Long left St. Louis without an offer? After a 3 day physical marathon...WTH? What a pile of steaming horse squeeze. Don't believe for second they didn't talk money. It's always all about the money. He must have had a low ball offer and felt offended again.

5yr/$45Mil

That Sounds Great For Jake!! Back load It So The Contract Really Is A 3 Year Deal!!

Pete,

A 3rd for Sanders who's never done much even if in limited action is foolish if you ask me. Let the Pats burn a pick. I could be wrong cause Brady is Brady and can make anyone look good but again that's a lot IMO.

Losing 7 starters to FA is a NIGHTMARE!

JPAO, no worries man, we are not arguing here, just discussing. I knoe Fasano was a good team guy and I'm not crapping on him by any stretch. Truth be told, I'd like to have him and Keller. But ... between the two, i easily pick keller. We may disagree but I think the 20-30 extra yards per game Keller gives us is HUUUGE. It's one extra scoring chance per game or one extra big play per game, one extra time we don't have to punt from our end zone, etc etc.

As far as blocking goes, we have Will Yeatman on the team to work short yardage and be that tricky slippery guy in play actions like that infamous Jumbo Elliot catch.

I think it's a great sign. Along with Ellerbe and Wallace and this is as close to a "Madden" offseason as I could imagine. FANTASTIC.

Ireland is working magic ... I feel bad for dumping on the Starks signing now ...

Pete, I'd give up a 2 for Sam Shields from GB. A 25 year old CB on the rise is worth giving up a 2nd rounder for!


AndyNJ,

Granted, its a risk for a relatively unproven player. From what I saw last season he looked good and I expect the Steelers would have offered him something if their cap situation wasn't such a mess.

Still, our picks this year are gold dust and he'd have to be clearly better than anything we could get in the 3rd.

If We Can Sign Jake At $8-9 A Year, with An Escape In 2-3 Years. Sounds Good To Me.

The Rams Are Not That Good.

After The Draft If Everything Looks Good. Ireland Deserves An Extension!!

Great Decision Mr. Ross!!

Hydrashock, 4.5 million one year Keller deal

the intended purpose of freeagency is to allow a team to confidently and urgently repair areas of need that have critical flaws, or to VASTLY improve a certain position where it is IMPAIRATIVE to do so. draft day gambles should be left to less important needs, but to mis-use this oppourtunity that freeagency allows by signing PROVEN freeagent talent just to replace PROVEN talent that is already there is wrong((dansby/burnett)), and now were thinking of another defensive end....don't fix what isn't broken.. to me wallace is an upgrade from marshall and keller is an upgrade over fasano, but that's all it is unless we get another stud reciever and draft lacey with our #1 pick...although that seems impossible now that we have NO corners....

Dashi, I hope you're not in the long list of know-nothings who are advocating drafting a RB in the 1st round. That's an OUTDATED DRAFT STRATEGY dude. Don't know how many times I have to tell you people.

ADRIAN PETERSON, THAT'S the ONLY caliber player you even THING of drafting in the 1st rd from that position. And then, MAYBE.

#2 rusher last year, DRAFTED IN THE SIXTH ROUND!!!

Pitt isn't worried about losing Sanders. They signed 36 year old Plaxico! Gosh, the Steelers are a mess almost as bad as Baltimore!

Wish I had tweeter :).....

I wonder what ole Jackie is twitting about...

Only one year? Too bad. He is a good player and will cost more next year. I guess they are thinking of getting a tight end in the draft.

Hydra, i believe the figure is 4.5m for 1year

It is imperative, imperative.

Pete...

Sanders is another speedster...and would be comfortable with former teammate Wallace....

I would definetly think about it...

talk about a FAST team....

if ireland wantsto put it's fans and the entire league on notice, if he truly wants to make the offense significantly better then the days of brandon marshall he will have to sign another stud target(jennings or finley).. now that's DOING something significant, that will grab the fans attention! wallace is an upgrade over marshall, but that would be it, to truly exploit this oppourtunity that ireland created for us this offseason, he must put us over the top by adding one more STUD target!

CS, agree d100% which cgoes back to just having a BPA draft instead of drafting for need

How are the BARCELONA DRAGONS looking this year? I really want to see them destroy the FRANKFURT GALAXY.

Also, It would be wonderful to attend the upcoming game betweeen the SHREVEPORT STEAMERS and the MEMPHIS SOUTHMEN.

More good signings (and PLEASE, don't OVERPAY for Long if Ireland wants him back--incentives should be acceptable to him and his better half if he faces reality--he'll get paid in any event). I think Ireland is doing his job, and the Fins are on the map. LOOKIE, LOOKIE, LOOKIE, some FA's DO want to play in beautiful, sunny, bikini-clad, tax-free FL! Also really smirking at all of the posts because Ireland is now the prince of FA and very small % in comparison are calling for him to be skinned and set on a post. What a difference as year makes...I have said for a long time that we need to give him time to crawl out from the slime Tuna and the others left for him to see how he really may be as a GM. We can reasonably try to feel better that he is working hard and making sensible decisions for filling the holes we need and for being in such a good cap and position to start. Now it is up to the players to be as good as they think they are.
Very little-relatively, is being said besides the surprise of getting Ellerby, as to how important the changes at LB will be to this team this year. Brings a whole differet dynamic and bunches of serious opportunities. Depths is also key for more LB, OL and OBVIOUSLY-DB's. WR chase ain't over, either. Another TE is important and how would Misi be as a rusher? Moore's re-signing also a quietly huge thing in relation to what has unfolded--he will be a steady aternative to T-Hill and even possible trade bait if good stuff happens.
We are hurting the J-E-R-K-S (well, not as much as they are killing themselves!) and the Pat's are getting closer and the Bills...well, who cares.... Keeping in mind the many holes we still have to fill and that next year's cap is also being considered here, We remain in really good shape. At least can feel very positive. Now if Tanny fails and injuries happen......but hopes are truly looking up.

Everyone should be able to block. If you don't think NEs receivers are blocking than you are not watching very closely. Receivers blocking creates long plays.
Travis Kelce is a beast. I think he is the best all around TE in the draft and almost as good a receiver as Eifert.

Sandrs was a 3rd rd pick 4 years ago tho....and his production does NOT warrant he be traded for 3rd rd value....

looks more like a 5th or possibly a 6th seem more fair considering his production...

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