Thursday, March 21, 2013

Keller inked one-year prove-it deal with 'confidence'


Tight end Dustin Keller wasn't pleased with the market he was seeing for his services, so he did what a lot of players do.

He bet on himself.

Keller signed a one-year, prove-it deal with the Miami Dolphins last week, and Thursday, he explained why he supposedly steered away from a multi-year offer with the team. (photo: Billtacular, Flickr)

"I have that kind of confidence in myself," Keller said during an appearance on The Jim Rome Show. "Coming off last season missing half the games, I need to have a full, healthy season then go back and do something extended with the Dolphins."

Up until last season, Keller had not missed a game since being drafted in the first round by the New York Jets in 2008. Keller was hampered by hamstring and ankle injuries all season and appeared in just eight contests.

He finished the disappointing 2012 campaign with 28 receptions for 317 yards and two touchdowns.

A consistently productive tight end for the majority of his career, Keller drew tepid interest in free agency and ultimately signed a one-year, $4.25 million deal with his former division rival.

But he's certain that his stint with the Dolphins can elevate him to the upper echelon of NFL tight ends.

"I never hit my ceiling [in New York], never came close," Keller told Rome. "With Ryan Tannehill at quarterback, I think I can hit that ceiling."

Follow Sean @seanldonovan
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily