AFC East Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Bills

Bill GM Brandon Beane said the team was never as close as it was reported to a deal for WR Antonio Brown.  

“We just didn’t get far enough down the road,” Beane said via Pro Football Talk. “There’s compensation with the Steelers and then there’s compensation with the player. We were just never able to work out all sides to make that happen. It had totally died down before that tweet came out that was erroneous. It wasn’t like it was heating up at that point. Talks had stalled well before.”

Beane confirmed the breakdown in the deal was with Brown’s desire for a new contract.  

“We had productive talks with Kevin Colbert, with Pittsburgh, but one of the things I made clear with Kevin early on is we would have to be comfortable with where the compensation is going to have to be with AB’s representatives, and that was never something that we were even close on,” Beane said.

  • The Bills will have the oldest running back roster by far in 2019 with veterans LeSean McCoy and Frank Gore, and HC Sean McDermott is excited about it: “I’m just excited to have LeSean and Frank in the same backfield, even more so than that to watch them two make each other better throughout an entire season. I know they train together sometimes in the offseason.  I just think what better way to challenge one another with a guy for LeSean that’s been there and done that and done a lot of the things LeSean’s done at a high level. I think iron’s gonna sharpen iron in that situation.”
  • New Bills CB E.J. Gaines said the decision to come back to Buffalo after a one-year stint with the Browns was easy: “It made a lot of sense,” Gaines said via Sal Capaccio“I’m familiar with the coaches and the scheme.  It was a no-brainer for me.”

Dolphins

The Dolphins have had good talks with CB Xavien Howard‘s agent regarding a possible extension, per Joe Schad.

“It would be great” to get a deal done in the next six months,” Grier said via Adam Beasley. “We’ve been talking to his agent back and forth a little bit, and they’ve been very good to work with. Xavien wants to be here and wants to be here long-term. So yeah it would be important because I think it could send a message, which we want, is that we want our good young players to be here.”

  • Dolphins GM Chris Grier says he could draft a quarterback in both 2019 and 2020. (Armando Salguero
  • Grier says he hasn’t spoken to New Orleans regarding DE Robert Quinn in a week or so, adding that other teams have shown interest and that Miami could even choose to keep Quinn.  (Salguero)
  • Grier mentions CB Eric Rowe has a shot to be the No. 2 corner across from Howard.  (Schad)
  • According to ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has $5.5 million guaranteed in 2019 with $4 million in a roster bonus and $1.5 million in salary. Fitzpatrick also has $5 million in salary escalators tied to playing time, playoffs and team offensive rankings.
  • The Dolphins have a pre-draft visit scheduled with Toledo CB Ka’dar Hollman. (Barry Jackson)

Jets

Jets HC Adam Gase is getting fired up about adding RB Le’Veon Bell to his offense.  

“I love his variety,” Gase said via NFL.com. “I love that he could do everything. And I think the more film I watch since we’ve signed him, I think I tried not to tease myself too much by watching too much film.  But since we have signed him, I’ve just amped it up and trying to figure out what has he done in Pittsburgh? You know, how far can we take him? What can we do in the passing game? What do we have to make sure we do right with him in the running game? How do we kind of build this thing around Sam [Darnold], him and some of the other pieces that we have? So you know, it’s been fun to watch, really go back and watch what he’s done in the past.” 

  • New York Jets CEO Christopher Johnson says the team isn’t done shopping in free agency with holes on the roster and $30.4 million in cap space: “We need a lot of other pieces and we’re working on that. We’re not completely done with free agency and we still have the draft.” (Rich Cimini)
  • Regarding Anthony Barr‘s decision to back out of his agreement with the Jets, Johnson said: “We want people on our team who want to be New York Jets. Not everybody wants to be in New York. If he didn’t want to be here, that’s fine. It’s disappointing when someone backs out on an agreement, but we want people who are all in.” (Brian Costello)
  • Villanova OT Ethan Greenridge met with the Jets before his pro day on Monday.  (Cimini)

Patriots

According to Peter King, Patriots HC Bill Belichick reached out to Rob Gronkowski‘s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, last Thursday to check about his status for the 2019 season.

Rosenhaus told Gronkowski that he should give the team a decision at some point in the near future and Gronk made up his mind Sunday afternoon.

“It’s time. I just won another championship. I’m going out on top. I just want to do nothing for a while. I just want to be me. I just want to have fun,” Gronkowski told Rosenhaus.

Interestingly enough, Rosenhaus said it wouldn’t shock him if Gronkowski decided to come back sometime in 2019.

  • Peter King wouldn’t be surprised if the Patriots pursued a pre-draft trade for a receiver such as A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu or Sterling Shepard.
  • Kevin Duffy reports that the Patriots have not been in contact with free agent TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who is the best available player at his position. 
  • However, Duffy says it’s possible this changes now that Rob Gronkowski has decided to retire from the NFL. 
  • Regarding Gronkowski, Michael Giardi says his understanding is that Gronkowski had already signed or agreed to a deal with a film/TV company prior to the Super Bowl.

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