Antonio Gates was re-signed by the team during the offseason to a two-year deal, but the team lost Ladarius Green to free agency. The former Chargers TE decided to take an offer from the Pittsburgh Steelers and will now be receiving throws from Ben Roethlisberger.
The Chargers clearly needed to make a move. Sure the team can draft a decent tight end like some of the ones speculated here yesterday by EVT writer Peter Friberg. There are options in the draft class, but the Chargers did need a veteran presence behind Gates. Cumberland provides that for the Bolts for the 2016 season.
Chargers make it official: TE Jeff Cumberland has signed one-year contract. Spent past six seasons with Jets.
— Michael Gehlken (@sdutGehlken) April 4, 2016
He was largely used as a blocking back last season. Cumberland is a very good blocker and will improve the Chargers running game. That was something the team did need as Melvin Gordon had a terrible rookie season. The new run blocking scheme should improve Gordon’s numbers and provide him with his first NFL touchdown.
Last season for the Jets Cumberland started only six games. He caught five passes for 77 yards on the season, The six-year veteran out of Illinois has 86 career catches for 1,119 yards and 10 touchdowns. Cumberland has pass catching abilities and you can be sure Philip Rivers will utilize his new tight end. If he can build some chemistry with Rivers, Cumberland could eclipse all his career season records.
The Chargers team is beginning to slowly take shape for the 2016 season. Tom Telesco is busy these days as the Chargers prepare for the draft and fill the holes on their roster. Stay tuned to EVT for all your Chargers needs. Go Bolts!