A recent report suggested that the New England Patriots could sign former Green Bay Packers’ tight end Jermichael Finley New York Jets or Miami Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller soon.
Field Yates of ESPN Boston believes the Patriots should pass on Finley.
I’d contend the Patriots still need to address the tight end situation given the continued rehab of Rob Gronkowski and remaining tight ends on the roster, but Finley — who when healthy represents exactly what this offense could use — is too much of an injury risk at this juncture. A gifted pass catcher with open field running skills, Finley is working through a neck issue that limited him to just six games last season. While other available options at the position — including Dustin Keller — also have injury questions, the nature of Finley’s condition represents too much uncertainty to make the investment.
Mike Reiss argues the Patriots should sign Keller instead.
If the medical situation with his knee checks out, and a reasonable contract agreement can be reached, this one makes too much sense. The Patriots like to be able to tap all personnel groupings, but given their current personnel at tight end, there is some question as to whether they will be able to do so. Keller is one of the top “move” tight ends on the market and he played for tight ends coach Brian Daboll in his rookie season with the Jets (2008).
Finley had 25 receptions for 300 yards and three touchdowns before suffering a neck injury. He has 223 catches for 2,785 yards and 20 touchdowns in his career.
Keller left the Jets for the Dolphins last year, but tore his ACL, MCL, and PCL and dislocated his knee. He has 241 career receptions for 2,876 yards and 17 touchdowns.