AFC East Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Bills

On Tuesday, Sammy Watkins said in an interview with Bleacher Report (per Joe DiBiase) that he spoke to the Bills about a potential return to Buffalo prior to them acquiring Stefon Diggs.

However, Bills GM Brandon Beane denied that they ever spoke with Watkins about the possibility. 

“That’s 100 percent false. We never spoke to Sammy Watkins or any of his representation about trading for him. Secondly, we never discussed him with anyone in our building that matters. End of discussion,” said Beane, via Sal Capaccio.

Dolphins

  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport confirms the Dolphins still have interest in free-agent CB Logan Ryan along with the Jets. 
  • Saints executive Jeff Ireland said the team had “pretty strong intel” the Chiefs and Dolphins were eyeing C Cesar Ruiz, so they stayed put and picked him instead of trading back. (Nick Underhill)

Jets

  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport confirms the Jets and free-agent CB Logan Ryan have mutual interest and the two sides are still working to see if New York can close out a deal, as the Dolphins are also interested. 

Patriots

  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe writes that while the Patriots are cap-strapped, both Saints QB Jameis Winston and Cowboys QB Andy Dalton signed cheap enough deals that New England could have rearranged salary to fit them in if they wanted to. 
  • He says this is an indication they really are prepared to give 2019 fourth-round QB Jarrett Stidham a shot as the starter in 2020. 
  • PatsCap’s Miguel Benzan points out New England has $640,545 in available cap space, while second-round S Kyle Dugger will account for a cap hit of $1,514,891 when he signs his rookie contract. 
  • NESN’s Doug Kyed writes the simplest way to free up cap space to sign Dugger and complete their rookie class, as well as operate during the 2020 season, is to sign G Joe Thuney to an extension and lower his current $14.78 million cap hit under the franchise tag. 
  • Other potential extensions that would each free up $1 million include adding another year to the deals for RB James White, DT Adam Butler and DL Lawrence Guy.
  • New England could also consider adding years to contracts for CB Stephon Gilmore, WR Mohamed Sanu or G Shaq Mason.
  • Gilmore and Mason are candidates for restructures to convert base salary into a signing bonus as well, along with WR Julian Edelman and OT Marcus Cannon
  • If the Patriots wanted to remove a player off the roster, they could free up $11 million from cutting or trading Gilmore, $6 million from Cannon, $5 million from Mason, $5.5 million from Sanu, $9 million from LB Dont’a Hightower, $2.5 million from S Patrick Chung, $2 million from RB Rex Burkhead, $1 million from DE Deatrich Wise or $1 million from G Jermaine Eluemunor.
  • Kyed adds there’s not a huge rush as the Patriots typically don’t wrap up their rookie class until June or July. 
  • Sanu has ditched the walking boot and has started rehabbing his injured ankle. (Michael Giardi)
  • New Patriots WR Marqise Lee acknowledges the past two years have been “challenging” from a medical perspective and he thinks New England offers him the best chance to get back. (Mike Reiss)
  • Lee confirmed Mick Lombardi is New England’s new WR coach. (Kyed)
  • Redskins UDFA TE Thaddeus Moss says the Bengals and Patriots were also interested in signing him but he chose Washington because they called first. (JP Finlay)
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