NEW YORK (WFAN) – Jets tight end Dustin Keller wants to stay with the Jets “for a long time,” but admitted Monday he’s frustrated by the slow-moving talks to extend his contract.
“We’ve tried to approach them,” Keller, who is slated to earn around $3 million in the last year of his rookie deal, said from his charity bowling tournament at Manhattan’s Chelsea Piers. “But it really hasn’t moved too much.”
New York has a history of locking up its young stars well before their initial contracts are set to expire. Keller said the process has been “a little frustrating,” though he expressed hope that an agreement would be reached before the start of the season.
“Obviously, I’d like to be one of those core guys,” he said. “I feel I am, but still you want to get that contract done. That pretty much makes it official.”
New England’s Rob Gronkowski, with two years remaining on his rookie contract, set a new record for tight ends when he signed a six-year, $54 million deal last week.
While he may not have the monster numbers of Gronkowski, Keller led the Jets with 65 receptions and 815 receiving yards last season. In fact, he’s the only pass-catcher who has played all three seasons with quarterback Mark Sanchez.
The 27-year-old was a first-round draft pick of the Jets in 2008. Sanchez was the team’s top selection in 2009.
“I’ve tried to be a leader on and off the field,” said Keller. “And I’m going to continue to do whatever I can to make that happen. But at the end of the day, if they want to extend me, they will. If they don’t, that’s what happens.”
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