Desperate for any kind of boost to a dismal offense, the New York Jets have brought in Tight End Kellen Winslow as well as Wide Receiver Mike Sims-Walker. Both of these men have had their share of struggles recently, but once were thought of as legitimate starters in the National Football League.
Kellen Winslow is still only 29 years old, but knee injuries have plagued him throughout his career. The Jets are perhaps the team most in need of a quality tight end in all of football, making this potentially the perfect spot for the veteran to land. If he can prove that his knee can still withstand a beating in mini-camp, he could very well wind up being the starter for this team come opening day.
Dustin Keller had been the Jets’ starter for the past several seasons, however he left the team in the off season. Jeff Cumberland is currently slated to be the team’s starting tight end. Raise your hand if you’ve heard of Cumberland… If you didn’t raise your hand, you certainly aren’t alone. The fourth year man out of Illinois has played in only 19 games in his career, and has under 400 yards to his name.
Winslow showed signs early on in his career of becoming an elite tight end, never was able to make an impact with the New England Patriots last season, tallying just one catch during his stint with the team. His career stat line reflects a signficant talent edge over Cumberland. Before last season, he had a stretch of six straight seasons where he put up numbers better than Cumberland’s career totals, including an 1,100 yard season with the Browns in 2007. While with the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he was one of the few legitimate threats in his team’s offense, and was becoming a household name for his production.
Along with Kellen Winslow, the other washed up veteran brought in by the New York Jets is receiver Mike Sims-Walker.
Mike Sims-Walker has been out of football since the 2011 season. That was a forgettable season for the former Jacksonville Jaguar and St. Louis Ram. That year he played in just six games before landing on injured reserve. He was also traded by the Jaguars to the Rams after playing in just two games for his former team that season. His stat line in 2011 was 12 catches for 150 yards and no touchdowns.
He has shown promise in his career, especially in 2009. With the Jaguars that year, he had 63 catches for 869 yards and seven touchdowns. He is a big target for his quarterback at six foot two, 214 lbs. The Jets probably are looking into him as primarily a red zone target or possession receiver, as he never was able to develop into much of a deep threat while with the Jaguars.
The New York Jets desperately need help at the wide receiver position. Their only established veteran in the lineup, Santonio Holmes, is expected to miss at least a portion of training camp, and possibly some of the regular season as he recovers from a devastating lisfranc injury suffered last year. Second year man Stephen Hill has also missed time this off season due to a knee injury.
So the New York Jets are desperate for help in the passing game, and as a result have given tryouts to two washed up veterans in Kellen Winslow and Mike Sims-Walker. What have they got to lose by doing this? Offering a tryout doesn’t hurt, and the tight end position especially is in need of help. Winslow may just have the ability to reignite his career and fall into a starting role once again.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express
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