Buried in a New York Daily News article about pass catchers the Jets could be targeting in the first round of the upcoming draft is an interesting nugget on unrestricted free agent tight end Jeff Cumberland:
The Jets are in discussions to bring back unrestricted free agent tight end Jeff Cumberland, whose playing time was curtailed early last season by Kellen Winslow’s presence. The organization is bullish on Cumberland’s ability to take the next step in his fifth season, according to team sources.
Bent, TheJetsBlog.comThe fact that the Jets are “in discussions with” Cumberland is not really news. I would anticipate that the agents for each of the Jets’ would-be free agents (along with some potential cap casualties) will meet with someone from the Jets to discuss contracts at the scouting combine this week. However, it is interesting to hear that the team is still high on Cumberland, who caught 26 passes last year, recording career highs in receiving yards (398) and touchdowns (4).
The only tight ends currently under contract for next year are Chris Pantale, Zach Sudfeld and the recent futures signing Colin Anderson, so we would anticipate that this is a position the Jets will address even if they do opt to retain Cumberland. Kellen Winslow joins Cumberland as a pending unrestricted free agent, but is perhaps less likely to return given his recent legal issues.