AFC East Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Bills

Bills LB Lorenzo Alexander announced before the season began that 2019 would be his last year in the NFL. After Sunday’s game, Alexander confirmed that he still planned to retire despite being productive in a part-time role for Buffalo this year, notching 54 tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and nine pass defenses in a full 16 games. For now, his focus is completely on Buffalo’s first-round playoff game against the Texans. 

“Yes, obviously, it was a decision I made before the season, and at this point, we still have to play Houston next week,” Alexander said via Leo Roth and Ryan Miller of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. “My mind hasn’t even processed transition yet, so I’m still in this thing 100 percent. Once you start thinking about life after football, you kind of take some of the focus away from the guys and what’s important. The focus is on Houston now and we have to get a playoff win, obviously that would be huge for this organization and community.”

Dolphins

In case an upset of the Patriots in the regular-season finale hadn’t shattered the tanking narrative enough, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross took another shot at the notion that the Dolphins intentionally tried to be bad this season in comments to the team website

“There were a lot of narratives this year about our approach that were incorrect,” Ross said. “We objectively looked at things and determined that we were a long way from being a championship-caliber team and we needed to take a different approach. We’ve been bottom 5 in point differential in the NFL 4 of the last 5 years, including 30th last year. So the idea that we made decisions to try to be bad on purpose is ridiculous. We were a team with an aging roster and the most dead salary cap money in the NFL. So we knew that we needed to build it from the ground up, and that’s what drove the decisions.”

  • Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports the Dolphins have told LB Vince Biegel that they would like to re-sign him and the two parties have discussed a potential multi-year agreement. Biegel is in line to be a restricted free agent next year, so Miami will have an opportunity to retain him on a one-year tender. 
  • The conditional sixth-round pick the Cardinals traded Miami for RB Kenyan Drake has also met the conditions to increase to a fifth-round pick, per Jackson.
  • Arizona will send Miami back its own fifth-round pick it dealt to the Cardinals for QB Josh Rosen
  • ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe points out Dolphins WR Albert Wilson‘s $9.5 million 2020 salary will likely play a role in if he returns next year or not. 
  • Dolphins GM Chris Grier says he expects both QBs Ryan Fitzpatrick and Rosen to be on the roster in 2020 as of “right now.” (Wolfe)
  • The Dolphins and OL consultant Dave DeGuglielmo have mutually agreed to part ways after discussing a new contract. (Mike Garafolo)
  • Miami also let S coach Tony Oden go. (Jackson)

Jets

Jets WR Robby Anderson, who will be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career next year, said he doesn’t think taking a hometown discount makes a lot of sense. 

“You got to talk to my agent,” Anderson tells Manish Mehta of the Daily News. “I don’t think that makes sense.”

  • The Athletic’s Connor Hughes writes that Anderson could command a deal worth $13-$15 million per year on the open market.  
  • ESPN’s Rich Cimini points out the return of Jets owner Woody Johnson from his time as the U.S. ambassador to the U.K. at the end of 2020 will add an interesting wrinkle to the future of both HC Adam Gase and GM Joe Douglas, as they were hired primarily by Johnson’s son and Jets CEO Christopher Johnson
  • Gase was not interested in answering a question about RB Le’Veon Bell‘s future with the Jets, saying Douglas was in charge of personnel and Bell is still under contract for three more years. (Hughes)
  • “At this moment,” Gase says he’s not considering any changes to the coaching staff. (Cimini)
  • Jets QB Sam Darnold doesn’t believe he’ll need thumb surgery. (Hughes)
  • Jets TE Ryan Griffin underwent ankle surgery and the six-month recovery timeline means he will miss OTA’s. (Cimini)
  • Jets WR Quincy Enunwa has spinal stenosis but won’t undergo surgery as doctors didn’t recommend it if he wants to keep playing. (Hughes)

Patriots

  • Per NFL Media’s Michael Giardi, Patriots QB Tom Brady claims his elbow is fine and he’s not hurt: “There’s no injury. No nothing.”
  • According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Patriots LB Kyle Van Noy has a $375,000 incentive for playing 80 percent of the defensive snaps. While he currently is at 79.47 percent, the Patriots could still pay the incentive even if he doesn’t reach the marker Sunday. 
  • Ben Volin mentions that he could see Chad O’Shea coming back to the Patriots after being fired by the Dolphins on Monday. However, Volin isn’t sure it would be as offensive coordinator if Josh McDaniels leaves.
  • According to Volin, the Patriots are grooming Joe Judge to be their next offensive coordinator, which means O’Shea could return to his WRs coach role.
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