The New York Jets have made the first move in keeping the starting tight end.
Jeff Cumberland, the tight end who started last year in lieu of the injured Dustin Keller, is a restricted free agent. He has just been tendered by the New York Jets to the amount of $1.32 million, according to Brian Costello. This low tender gives the team a right of first refusal, but no draft pick compensation if he is signed by another team.
This is a good move. It gives the team some flexibility and allows them to keep Cumberland, who will seek to develop over the next year. It's important that we retain Cumberland if Keller leaves in free agency, as he's expected to. The team could have tendered him for more, which would have guaranteed a pick as compensation, but it would have cost the team more against the salary cap in space they simply don't have.
It gives the team flexibility to sign Keller as well. Had a higher tender been offered, it would have spelled the end for him as the team would have had too much money tied up in the position. With a lower amount (approximately $1 million less), the team could, if they choose, to dedicate that money to Keller. I still don't believe his re-signing is likely.
I don't view it as likely another team will send an offer sheet for Cumberland, because he's just not a top-tier tight end. It's possible, but unlikely.
What do you think?