AFC East Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Bills

  • ESPN’s Bill Barnwell thinks Bills WR Robert Foster‘s three 100-yard games at the end of his rookie year could prompt another team to give up a conditional pick for him, but otherwise, he’s likely on the bubble in Buffalo. 

Dolphins

  • Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the Dolphins don’t view OT Austin Jackson as a project player and believe that he doesn’t need a year to sit on the bench and learn.
  • Jackson adds that the Dolphins believe he is already talented enough to be a starting left tackle this season, especially if he earns the job in training camp.
  • The Dolphins also plan to evaluate who is better suited to play right tackle or right guard between Jesse Davis and Robert Hunt, according to Jackson.
  • Jackson says that Miami has not discussed an extension with recently acquired RB Matt Breida, who signed a one-year, $3.3 million restricted deal with the 49ers just two weeks ago.
  • ESPN’s Bill Barnwell thinks the Dolphins will try and trade QB Josh Rosen somewhere so he doesn’t end up with the Patriots. 

Jets

Jets TE Chris Herndon was on many sleeper lists entering last season because of the rapport he built with QB Sam Darnold as a rookie. However, his season went off the rails starting with a four-game suspension to begin the season. A hamstring injury slowed his return to the field, then when he finally made it back he caught just one pass for seven yards in his lone game before a rib injury landed him on injured reserve. Going into 2020, though, the Jets still believe Herndon could break out as a post-hype sleeper. 

“I think everyone can agree that we were all excited to see what he could do going into last year,” Jets HC Adam Gase said via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “We felt good about so many things and it just didn’t work out with the suspension and the injury. Then we finally get him on the field and he played like (18) plays. He’s a guy that we’re excited to get back and can’t really get wait to get going. And see how he’ll fit in with everything.”

Patriots

Patriots S Devin McCourty is a pretty smart guy, so he likely realizes new second-round S Kyle Dugger will replace him eventually. However, part of the reason McCourty has remained in New England despite the exodus of veterans has been his value to the team as a leader and someone who can pass the team’s culture to the next generation. 

“You never compete with a guy at your position because you never go against each other,” McCourty said via MassLive.com’s Chris Mason. “You are battling at the position, but the competition is against the receivers on your team, then eventually the preseason games, the regular season. I have always tried to develop great bonds with guys who have come in there. I think that is part of being a leader and I think that is part of who you want to be as a person. That is what I love . . . I am excited to get Kyle in there.”

  • Per CBS Boston, Patriots rookie K Justin Rohrwasser says he will remove a tattoo on his arm associated with “The Three Percenters” right-wing militia group. He was 18 when he got it and said he wasn’t aware of its full meaning: “As soon as I saw what it was linked to on Saturday, it was exactly that time I knew I had to get it totally taken off my body. I said cover it up [to reporters], but I want to get it removed from my body. It’s shameful that I had it on there ignorantly.”
  • ESPN’s Bill Barnwell mentions Patriots TE Matt LaCosse as a veteran on the roster bubble after the draft. 
  • NFL Media’s Michael Giardi confirms there’s nothing cooking between the Patriots and former Panthers QB Cam Newton and doesn’t expect that to change. 
  • Patriots HC Bill Belichick suggested the expected growth from their current receivers like N’Keal Harry and Mohamed Sanu is why they felt okay passing on the position in what was supposedly a deep class: “I’m sure that all our young players will improve in Year 2. Got a first-round pick on N’Keal last year. Second-round pick on Mohamed — that was really off this draft. Obviously have Julian and a number of other young players. I think that will be a very competitive group.” (Mike Reiss)
  • Reiss adds it’s unclear if the Patriots would be interested in veteran WR Percy Harvin who’s attempting to come out of retirement. 
  • The Patriots signed undrafted LB Kyahba Tezino to a rookie deal that includes $70,000 guaranteed and a $10,000 signing bonus. (Aaron Wilson)
  • Their deal for undrafted free agent LB DeJon Harris is guaranteed for $140,000 (Ben Volin)
  • Undrafted free agent QB J’Mar Smith gets a deal that includes a guaranteed $30,000 (Ben Volin)
  • Miami WR Jeff Thomas is also signing with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent for a guaranteed $2,500. (Ben Volin)
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