But as of the beginning of minicamp, next man up Jeff Cumberland was the still the primary option. Cumberland has potential and showed some nice things as a part-time starter last year, but the depth and quality of the tight end corps as a whole was alarming.
Gang Green eased a little bit of that concern Friday with the signing of veteran Kellen Winslow, who worked out with the team at minicamp last week and was impressive by all accounts.
"We thought Kellen did a nice job given the fact that you get off a plane, you get into a meeting and a couple hours later you're out on the field," Jets general manager John Idzik said Thursday. "I think all things considered, he did a pretty good job."
The Jets really had nothing to lose here. They were prepared to enter the season with Cumberland as the No. 1, so bringing in a former standout tight end on a one-year deal can pretty much only help. If he doesn't cut it, they fall back to Cumberland and draft someone in 2014. If he's productive, then even better.
Winslow spent just one game with the New England Patriots last season but averaged 72 catches for 797.5 yards over the six years prior donning Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cleveland Browns uniforms. He tallied 1,106 receiving in 2007 en route to a Pro Bowl berth.