The New York Jets are working out veteran pass-catchers next week for minicamp tryouts, and we already know that the Jets will be working out tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., who briefly spent time with the New England Patriots last season. Adam Schefter reported that move, and he also added to that report by stating the Jets will work out former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker as well.
The Jets seem intent on working out cast-off pass-catchers, and it is interesting to see that the Jets still don’t want Braylon Edwards, who is the choice for most fans. He has familiarity with the offense, and I’d say that he’s better than Winslow and MSW. I mean, we don’t even know if Winslow can contribute anymore, because his knees continue to get worse as he gets older. In fact, he barely spent any time with the Patriots last season, and he presumably asked for his release due to severe knee pain.
Sims-Walker had workouts before the 2012 season with the Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins, but knee issues and ineffectiveness in those workouts led to a season off for Sims-Walker. He is 28, hasn’t played in a game since 2011, and is coming off of a missed season due to knee issues. I doubt either of these two players make the Jets roster, but they could impress if fully healthy.
Even if Winslow does impress enough to make the roster, he would almost certainly be the backup to TE Jeff Cumberland, who broke out last season with 29 catches for 359 yards and three touchdowns as Dustin Keller‘s backup. Cumberland is 6’4″, 260 pounds and can be a good red zone target, and he’s also just 26 with more potential to tap into in his fourth season in the NFL (and second season with legitimate playing time).
Conor Orr of the Newark Star-Ledger reports that Cumberland is slated to be the teams top tight end after an encouraging first season with minimal drops, a solid yards per catch average, and the ability to line up in the slot at times. Cumberland told the Star-Ledger that he thinks he can be one of the game’s elite tight ends. All the Jets are hoping for is Cumberland to fill in seamlessly for Keller, which is a tough task on its own.