AFC East Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Bills

  • Per ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques, Bills GM Brandon Beane said he inquired with the Vikings about WR Stefon Diggs during the season but Minnesota didn’t want to move him. When he circled back the first day of free agency, the Vikings seemed a lot more open. 
  • Beane told reporters he felt more comfortable putting those assets into a trade for Diggs, as those picks would have only moved Buffalo up three spots in the draft order. 
  • He also pushed back on some of the characterizations of Diggs by others: “I would not call him a diva. He’s a dog … He brings an edge…We believe in our culture and we believe what we know about him he’ll be a fit here.” (Matthew Fairburn)
  • Beane threw his support behind QB Josh Allen as he enters a critical third season: “I have no doubt that he will continue to grow … He’s his own worst critic. And I know he has a lot of critics out there, some of which I think are way off base.” (Fairburn)
  • Buffalo made the move to bring in CB Josh Norman because Beane believes the Bills defense will be a better schematic fit for him: “We didn’t think the system Josh Norman played in Washington played to his strengths….he’ll bring an edge to our defense and I think he’s got something to prove.” (Sal Capaccio)
  • The Bills believe DT Vernon Butler can blossom in their scheme the same way Jordan Phillips did: “The lights came on last year in Carolina.” (Capaccio)
  • Beane said new OL Daryl Williams was out of position as a left tackle for the Panthers last year. He’ll play right guard or right tackle for the Bills. (Joe Buscaglia)
  • Beane characterized new LB Tyler Matakevich as “a real ass-kicker” on special teams. (Buscaglia)
  • Regarding DT Harrison Phillips‘ rehab from a torn ACL, Beane noted he is “doing as well as can be expected” and the hope is he can be ready for training camp. (Capaccio)

Dolphins

  • Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald expects the Dolphins to select at least one defensive tackle and an edge defender in the 2020 NFL Draft. 
  • Jackson mentions Dolphins DL Durval Queiroz-Neto as a player at risk of being cut prior to training camp and adds that the “odds are against” DL Avery Moss and Taco Charlton both making the roster. 
  • Jackson believes the Dolphins plan to add at least three linebackers in the draft process, including one inside linebacker and an edge defender. 
  • Jackson lists the following Dolphins linebackers at risk of being cut before training camp: Calvin Munson, Jake Carlock, James Crawford, Jamal Davis, and Terrill Hanks.
  • As for the Dolphins’ defensive backfield, Jackson could see Miami drafting a safety and a cornerback in the 2020 NFL Draft. 
  • Jackson names Dolphins DBs Cordrea Tankersley, Nate Brooks, and Linden Stephens as possible cuts before training camp. 
  • Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald thinks the Dolphins are locked in on finding a quarterback with the No. 5 overall pick, with offensive tackle among their priorities with their other two picks. 

Jets

  • Per SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, Jets GM Joe Douglas said he didn’t have any updates on contract talks with S Jamal Adams, adding that would likely move to the front burner after the draft. 
  • Douglas told reporters the chance to sign CB Pierre Desir after he was cut by the Colts was unique and current Jets GM Rex Hogan lobbied for Desir based on his time with him in Indianapolis: “When you watch the tape, the thing that jumps out his how distinctive Pierre is, especially in zone, and how good his ball skills are. When he has a chance to make a play on the ball, he’s gonna get the interception or the PBU. Excited to have both of those guys in the secondary.”
  • The Jets likely won’t have interest in DE Jadeveon Clowney unless his asking price drops even more from the already-reduced $17-$18 million a year he’s now reportedly seeking. (Vacchiano)
  • Jets DB Bennett Jackson’s one-year, $725,000 contract includes a $50,000 signing bonus and $50,000 of his $675,000 base salary is guaranteed. (Rich Cimini)
  • Washington C Nick Harris had a pre-draft meeting over video conference with the Jets. (Justin Melo)

Patriots

For the first time in 20 years, the Patriots will try to win the AFC East without Tom Brady as their starting quarterback. Just twice in that span has another team won the division, which has to make the Bills, Dolphins and Jets feel better about their chances in a post-Brady world. But Buffalo GM Brandon Beane cautioned that they’re not taking New England and HC Bill Belichick lightly. 

“Candidly, I did not expect Tom to leave,” Beane said via Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. “New England’s still going to be very good. I think it’s funny, comical that people are writing them off. The team to beat in the East is the Patriots.”

  • According to NBC Sports’ Tom Curran, a league source says there’s “not a chance in hell,” the Patriots trade WR Julian Edelman
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says he would be surprised if Belichick didn’t trade down from the No. 23 pick in the first round. Belichick is known for disliking large gaps between picks and there’s a large gap between their first and second pick at No. 87. 
  • Part of the Patriots’ newfound vulnerability is in who currently is set up to replace Brady, with journeyman veteran Brian Hoyer set to compete with 2019 fourth-round QB Jarrett Stidham. Patriots RB James White says that’s not a problem, however: “We’re confident in Stidham. We’re confident in Hoyer, whoever it happens to be.” (Doug Kyed)
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