AFC East Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Bills

In the post-Tom Brady world of the AFC East, the Bills are widely seen as the favorites to inherit the Patriots’ throne atop the division. Both were playoff teams last year and Buffalo appeared to be closing the gap even before New England lost its future Hall-of-Fame quarterback. While Bills HC Sean McDermott doesn’t want to shy away from the expectations placed on his group, he cautioned that the Patriots are still the champions until they aren’t. 

“Anytime you bring up some of those words — expectations, pressure — number one, I think it shows you that people respect the way we’re doing things overall, which is nice,” McDermott said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “But number two, and just as important, the Patriots, look, they’ve won the division for X amount of years. … Until someone is able to win the division, to us, the Patriots remain the favorite. Why shouldn’t they? You tell me one reason why they shouldn’t.” 

Dolphins

  • Per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa‘s rookie deal includes the following guaranteed training camp roster bonuses: $1.206 million (2021), $2.467 million (2022), $3.728 million (2023)

Jets

At this point in his career, newly-signed Jets RB Frank Gore is joining New York to be the clear backup to starting RB Le’Veon Bell. However, Gore is one of Jets HC Adam Gase‘s favorite players and he made it a priority to sign Gore both for his role off the field as a positive influence to the other backs on the roster and because he still thinks Gore has something left in the tank at the age of 37. 

“I think he’s a good teammate especially the last three or four years in that backup role and the supporting role of whoever that starter is,” Gase said via Ethan Greenberg of the team’s website. “He’s a great guy for Le’Veon to be around. Those two guys can really do some damage together. We have two guys that can play all three downs. They both have outstanding skillsets. There’s a little bit of difference in their running style and how they do things, but we know Frank really well and we know how to use them.”

Patriots

  • Gary Myers of the New York Times says a reason for QB Tom Brady‘s departure from New England that has been overlooked was his deteriorating relationship with OC Josh McDaniels
  • Myers says in addition to the sideline fights, which were bigger than they tried to portray during the season, Brady wanted more input into the gameplan. 
  • NESN’s Zack Cox writes that while Patriots sixth-round K Justin Rohrwasser claimed in a pre-draft interview he was 14-14 in the fourth quarter and overtime during his career, a look at his game logs reveals he was instead 4-6 on field goals in that time frame. 
  • Cox added that Rohrwasser was 6-7 on fourth-quarter extra points, which are 13 yards closer in college than in the NFL, in 2019.
  • Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline expects the Patriots to at least watch QB Jarrett Stidham play during the preseason before deciding if they need to add another veteran quarterback. 

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