Jets, Dustin Keller talking about contract extension

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Dustin Keller was the most reliable receiving option for the Jets in 2011 and that’s got the Jets looking to keep him around for the long term.

Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com reports that Keller and the Jets have engaged in preliminary talks about a contract extension. Cimini reports that no deal is imminent, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the talks pick up steam once the draft is out of the way. Keller is entering the final year of his rookie deal — he’s set to make $3.05 million after reaching escalators in the contract he signed after being picked 30th overall in the 2008 Draft — so getting a deal done before the season would allow the team to focus on other free agents next offseason.

Keller led the Jets in receptions, receiving yards and catches of 20 or more yards during the 2011 season. That could be written off as insignificant given the difficulties the Jets had moving the ball through the air in 2011, but Keller also ranked sixth overall in receiving yards among tight ends. He’ll turn 28 this season, so there should be more productive seasons as a pass catcher in his future.

The Jets want those seasons to come in their uniform even if they show some uncertainty about who will be throwing him passes.