Dolphins free-agent TE Dustin Keller is visiting the Patriots today, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 30, 2014
Keller, 29, was signed by the Miami Dolphins last year, but blew out his knee in a preseason game against the Houston Texans and spent the entire year on injured reserve. He is a face that Pats fans know all too well, as he spent most of his career with the New York Jets and always seemed to find a way to give New England trouble.
The obvious question is whether or not Keller is fully recovered from his knee injury and whether he can still contribute on offense. He is a solid route runner, catches well, and blocks proficiently when asked to do so. However, Keller had already started to break down prior to his knee injury, as a pulled groin and ankle sprain limited him to only 8 games in 2012. I wouldn't go so far as to call Keller injury prone, as up until 2012 he never even missed a start for the Jets. However, it might simply be that his body can't take the abuse anymore, and if that's the case I say the last thing this franchise needs is another tight end who can't see the field.
That said, I've always liked Keller and think he would thrive in the Patriots system, provided he can stay healthy. He seems like a prime candidate for a prove-it kind of deal that will allow him to capitalize on one more larger contract should be be successful this year. There's nothing wrong with a visit, and I'd have no problem with the team bringing him into camp with no guarantees to make the final roster. Keller, Gronk, and a high-upside rookie (along with Hoo-man) would make the tight end position much more versatile than it was last year.