It's clear that Keller is his favorite target in short-yardage situations, and the duo have an indescribable chemistry that doesn't always show up in the final official game stats.
Sanchez throwing bombs to Keller can be a beautiful thing for years to come, and all the New York Jets need to do is give their standout 27-year-old tight end some piece of mind by locking him up with the contract extension he's been asking for.
"Obviously, I'd like to be one of those core guys that they consider that's going to help the team win and be part of that," Keller said, according to the Newark Star-Ledger. "I feel I am, but still you want to get that contract done. That pretty much makes it official."
You have to admire a guy who wants to stay in the Big Apple and help the New York Jets blossom as part of a crafty young core that includes Sanchez, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, David Harris, Nick Mangold and Darrelle Revis.
Keller, who is scheduled to make $3.05 million this year, has gotten better each season since joining the Jets in 2008. His total receiving yards and average yards per reception have increased in each of his four years with the squad, and he's coming off a career-best year that included 65 receptions for 815 yards.
Keller may never be the beastly performer that New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski turned out to be, but I see him as an above-average talent who has the potential to be a key cog in a championship-caliber team.
Will he fit with Tony Sparano's offense?
He has a lot of work ahead of him this season in his final year of his rookie contract. Keller is going to have to show improvement as a blocker, and prove that he can fit into Tony Sparano's new offensive system.
If there's anyone who can make the adjustments, it's Keller. The 6-foot-2, 250-pounder uses his chiseled frame well when running routes and separating from defenders.
Keller has a strong upside, and his chemistry with Sanchez can't be ignored. Additionally, he is a class act on and off the field, which is a major plus on a team that desperately needs "character guys" and leaders.
If he can improve his blocking to become a more complete player, he will be well-worth locking up for the long-term. I love his smooth, steady hands and willingness to give up his body to make dazzling catches in high-pressure situations.
Should the New York Jets give Dustin Keller a contract extension? Let me know in the comments.
Eric Holden is a lifelong New York Jets fan. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.
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