Jeff Cumberland is looking to make a comeback for the Chargers in 2017. The Chargers originally signed the former New York Jets tight end to a one-year contract in April 2016, but Cumberland’s season ended before it started when he suffered a season-ending Achilles injury during a preseason game. Fully healed and trimmed down, Cumberland is set to play his eighth NFL season.
A former undrafted free agent who entered the NFL with the Jets in 2010, Cumberland has caught 86 passes for 1,119 yards and 10 touchdowns during his career.
Cumberland’s 2016 Achilles injury was the second of his career. Three games into his second season with the Jets in 2011, Cumberland suffered his first. He bounced back to play in 15 games the following year (2012) and over the next four seasons, he played in 61 of 64 possible games. After the 2012 season, Cumberland’s Jets teammates selected him as their winner of the Ed Block Courage Award
Cumberland went to school at the University of Illinois where one of his teammates was Chargers defensive tackle Corey Liuget. Cumberland majored in sport management at Illinois and during the 2011 season when he missed 13 games with the Achilles injury, he took advantage of the time by performing an internship in the Jets’ sales department. Still looking to further his education, Cumberland was accepted into the University of Miami’s Master of Business Administration for Artists and Athletes Program in January 2016.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Cumberland had the values of hard work, dedication, faith and community instilled in him by the woman who raised him, grandmother Rosline Cumberland. He still maintains close ties to his hometown where he oversees the Jeff Cumberland Foundation, which hosts several annual events, including a youth football camp, a holiday toy giveaway and a Thanksgiving turkey giveaway. One of the frequent beneficiaries of Cumberland’s benevolence is the Boys and Girls Clubs. In December 2014, the NFL Players Association named Cumberland as its Community MVP.
Cumberland is also a staunch supporter of the U.S. military and is deeply concerned about critical causes such as cancer awareness.
TRANSACTION HISTORY: Signed with New York Jets as undrafted free agent, April 30, 2010...re-signed with Jets, April 9, 2013 and May 10, 2014...contract expired March 9, 2016...signed one-year contract with Chargers, April 6, 2016.
2017: Was released by Los Angeles Chargers during final roster reductions…Signed by Chargers on Nov. 7…Appeared in seven games with three starts and was inactive for another, posting a pair of receptions for two yards (1.0 avg.) and three special teams tackles…at Jacksonville (Nov. 12): Inactive (healthy scratch)…vs. Buffalo (Nov. 19): Started as the second TE, appearing on 28 offensive snaps and 13 on special teams…Caught a pass for two yards…at Dallas (Nov. 23): Saw action on 15 plays on offense and 11 on special teams after opening the game as the second TE…vs. Cleveland (Dec. 3): Appeared on 24 offensive snaps and eight on special teams, recording a special teams tackle on kickoff coverage that pinned the Browns inside the 20…vs. Washington (Dec. 10): Started as the third TE, playing 30 snaps on offense and 15 on special teams…Hauled in a pass from QB Philip Rivers and made a special teams tackle on kickoff coverage…at Kansas City (Dec. 16): Appeared on 13 offensive plays and eight on special teams, finishing with a special teams tackle on kickoff coverage…at New York Jets (Dec. 24): Appeared on 20 snaps on offense and 14 on special teams…vs. Oakland (Dec. 31): Played 18 offensive snaps and 12 on special teams.
2016: Spent season on “Reserve-Injured” due to Achilles injury in second preseason game.
2015: Season-long 44-yard catch Nov. 8 vs. Jacksonville.
2014: Ten-yard touchdown catch Oct. 16 at New England...20-yard TD catch to tie game 7-7 in second quarter Dec. 21 vs. Patriots...Dec. 28 at Miami, 23-yard TD catch for 34-24 lead with 3:22 left in game.
2013: Season-long TD catch (34 yards) Sept. 29 at Tennessee...season-high 79 yards, season-long 47-yard catch, and 20-yard TD catch for 10-7 lead in 30-28 win at Atlanta Oct. 7...13-yard TD catch Nov. 17 at Buffalo and eight-yarder Dec. 15 at Carolina.
2012: Ed Block Courage Award...first NFL touchdown catch (27 yards) Oct. 8 vs. Houston...Jets’ only touchdown (1 yard) in 7-6 win over Arizona Dec. 2...17-yard TD catch Dec. 17 at Tennessee.
2011: Injured Achilles Sept. 25 at Oakland...placed on “Reserve-Injured” Sept. 26.
2010: NFL debut Jan. 2 vs. Buffalo.
COLLEGE: Honorable mention Freshman All-America by Sporting News in 2006...finished career with 59 catches for 1,001 yards and 11 touchdowns...played at Illinois from 2006-09...sport management major.
PERSONAL: Born in Columbus, Ohio...All-America and All-Ohio at Brookhaven High in Columbus...selected to play in Ohio North/South Classic...state track qualifier in 100 meters and 4x100 and 4x200-meter relays.