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NFL New England Patriots

New England Patriots Wise To Be Interested in TE Dustin Keller

Dustin Keller

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Today marks the one year anniversary of the horrific and cowardly attacks at the Boston Marathon. Boston is one of only a handful of cities where people will just innately rush towards chaos in order to help others. That is what happened one year ago today. BOSTON STRONG.

That day will never be forgotten, but let’s move on to something that is more pleasant and talk about the rumors that the New England Patriots may be interested in signing free agent tight end Dustin Keller. Is this smart of the Patriots?

Yes. 100 percent yes.

It would make all the sense in the world for the Patriots to sign the former New York Jets and Miami Dolphins tight end. Keller has been a fantastic pass catching tight end (except for a disappointing 2012 when Keller didn’t have, shall we say, the best QB situation and when he missed 2013 with an injury). More on the injury in a minute.

The Patriots need to add depth at the tight end position since Rob Gronkowski is about as durable as rice paper and Aaron Hernandez was cut prior to the 2013 season and is still in jail on murder charges. Yes, I just took a shot at Gronkowski, but that doesn’t mean the Patriots should cut him. He’s still an unbelievable talent and a game changer when he’s on the field. The Patriots just need to make sure they have depth at the tight end position, and Keller would do that and be a good fit in New England.

True, Keller is far from being the best blocking tight end in the NFL, but the Patriots need a tight end who can catch passes. Keller can do that, plus he is fast, a good locker room guy and he’s intelligent.

Now back to his injury. Keller signed with the Dolphins prior to the 2013 season, but he never saw regular season action after taking a horrible, cheap hit from the Houston TexansD.J. Swearinger. Keller tore his ACL, MCL, PCL and also dislocated his knee. All of that sounds scary, right? Well, just a second there, professor (points for those who recognized the “Office Space” shout out there).

Keller avoided nerve damage, and his agent Eugene Parker has recently stated that Keller will be ready for the 2014 season. If that is indeed true, the Patriots need to take a long, hard look at Keller. With Keller turning 30 in August (he’s not ancient, but he’s not exactly a spring chicken either) and his knee injury, the Patriots may be able to sign Keller to a deal that is very favorable to the team. If Keller remains unsigned after the draft in May and the Patriots can sign Keller to a low risk/bargain deal, they have to pull the trigger. Keller is a talented player who fills a need for the Patriots.

The Patriots could still find a tight end through the draft (and they should do their due diligence on that as well), but getting something in the works with Keller (and hopefully signing him) frees up the Patriots to focus on filling their other needs (a big, physical receiver and their front seven to bolster their pass rush) through the draft.

This makes so much sense if Keller is indeed going to be ready to play in 2014. Here’s hoping the Patriots can make it happen.

Justin Patrick is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @calling_allfans, like him on Facebook and add him to  your network on Google.