The Miami Dolphins‘ spending spree on pass catchers continued on Friday as the team stole tight end Dustin Keller from their AFC East division rivals, the New York Jets. This comes less than a week after the team gave relatively lucrative deals to receivers Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace. Now there is absolutely no excuse for Dolphins second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill not to improve from his decent rookie campaign.
Of course, Tannehill’s rookie season was only “decent” because it was compared to those of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson, who collectively set a new standard for NFL rookie passers. But now with Wallace, Hartline and Davone Bess out wide and Keller as his security blanket, Tannehill is in the perfect position to continue his growth as a pro signal-caller. Put simply, it’s all on him to prove that his pleasantly surprising rookie season was no fluke.
Within all of this is Keller’s role. Wallace will obviously be the deep threat in the offense while Hartline will be the move-the-chains target. Bess is a solid No. 3 option, but it will be the Dolphins’ new tight end who makes or breaks Tannehill’s sophomore season. During his tenure with the Jets, Keller was described as “inconsistent,” which is accurate, but that’s partially due to horrific quarterback play. Keller showed flashes of brilliance at times in New York, which was obviously enough for the Dolphins to give him a chance to prove his worth with a one-year deal. If he comes through the way Miami hopes he will, Keller could combine with Tannehill to be the next hot young QB-TE duo in the NFL.