Monday, May 21, 2012
OK, so what about Kellen Winslow?
By Dan Graziano
I was kind of surprised it look that long, actually.
There was maybe a two-hour window between the time Monday morning that the news broke about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shopping (and, more likely, cutting) tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. and when people started asking me on Twitter whether he'd make sense for their team. Usually it's quicker than that. But I guess it's a rainy Monday, and maybe folks aren't feeling like themselves. I include myself, of course. Did you catch that Matthew Berry-style column lead up there?
Kellen Winslow has played in all 16 games in five of the past six seasons and has caught at least 66 passes in each of those five seasons.
Anyway, in response on Twitter I wrote that you could make a case for any of the four NFC East teams to pursue Winslow, to which four fan bases responded something along the lines of, "Really?", to which I said, "Yeah, really." But the limits of the 140-character Twitter world being what they are, I hereby expand:
They have been looking, since Martellus Bennett signed with the Giants, for a second tight end to replace Bennett. They drafted James Hanna, but he's not likely the solution right away. The issue here is that Winslow isn't really a blocking tight end, and it might be tough to convince him that he's not among the top options as a receiver.
They signed Bennett, but he only accounts for one of the two holes opened by the ACL injuries of tight ends Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum in the Super Bowl. There are reports that Beckum could be ready early in the season, but optimism sometimes gives way to reality, and the Giants may want to have coverage. As is always the case with the Giants, if they're interested, it would have to be for their specific price.
There's been talk in Philly for a couple of years about Andy Reid wanting to use more two-tight-end sets. It hasn't come to fruition, but a re-energized Winslow paired with Brent Celek could open up some of those possibilities. Again, though, as in Dallas and New York, he wouldn't be among the top receiving options, given the rest of the talent on the roster.
This only makes sense if the Redskins decide to cut Chris Cooley loose for financial or injury reasons. If that happens, they don't have many (any?) real strong tight ends behind Fred Davis. Receiver Niles Paul and even linebacker Lorenzo Alexander have been mentioned as candidates for tight end snaps this offseason, so it's not as though the roster is currently teeming with options should Cooley be cut.