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AFC Notes: Patriots, Steelers, Texans

Patriots

  • Mike Reiss believes the biggest impact from the team’s free agent acquisitions this year will come from RB Mike Gillislee.
  • Reiss mentions that it will fall on Gillislee to replace veteran RB LeGarrette Blount, given that his skill set is more in line with Blount’s than the other running backs currently on the Patriots’ roster.

Steelers

  • Mark Maske of the Washington Post writes that the real issue for the Steelers and franchise RB Le’Veon Bell will be determining what his true value is, considering that the franchise tag will cost them $12.12 million for the 2017 season, but the going rate for running backs in free agency has been around $5 million per year.
  • LeSean McCoy has the highest annual salary at $8 million per year, so that figures to be an important figure discussed between the Steelers and Bell’s representatives over the next few weeks along with the $18.25 million he was guaranteed as part of that deal.

Texans

According to Texans DL coach Antony Weaver, they have “very high expectations” for DL D.J. Reader.

“We have very high expectations of D.J.,” Texans defensive line coach Antony Weaver said, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “I think you saw just a glimpse of what he’s capable of a year ago. He’s another guy that since he’s been back, you can tell he’s, and I think I speak for the whole defense, they all have a little bit of a chip [on their shoulders].

“Were we happy with what we did a year ago? Sure. But we all know what the ultimate goal is, and I think everybody that walks into this building day-in and day-out, they come with the mindset of like, ‘How are we going to get over this hurdle? How are we going to get to where we want to be?’ And D.J., I think, he epitomizes that every time he walks in this building.