Dustin Keller's injury issues pressed Jeff Cumberland into bigger duty than the team originally planned. In what amounted to his first full season in the NFL, Cumberland had 29 catches for 359 yards, and 3 touchdowns. His most memorable plays were probably the ones that took place during the team's final winning streak of the year. In consecutive weeks, Cumberland had the game-winning touchdown reception from a yard out against the Cardinals and then a clutch 37 yard grab against the Jaguars.
Overall, however, I thought Cumberland's performance was pretty underwhelming. There was not much of his game that really jumped out at me. He didn't seem like a great blocker. His route running and hands seemed inconsistent. A ball he did not come up with in the end zone in Tennessee cost the team dearly. He also looked slower than his 4.4 timed speed on the field, possibly due to his continued recovery from a serious Achilles injury that ended his 2011 season three games in.
I think Cumberland is going to be back and should be back mainly because the Jets do not have much of a choice. He is a cheap player at a position where the Jets have zero depth. He didn't see much action in 2010, and 2011 was a year mostly lost to injury so 2012 was his first full season. Maybe he can put it all together and make good on what the Jets saw when they signed him. Maybe being a year further removed from his injury will make him more explosive.
I hope he will be used in a reserve role, but with Dustin Keller a free agent and little money to spend, he might end up starting.