AFC East Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Bills

  • According to Vic Carucci, the NFL is no longer pushing for the Bills to get a new stadium and instead have a “significant renovation” of New Era Field in Buffalo. 

Dolphins

  • According to Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline, the two teams most discussed as potential destinations for Patriots QB Tom Brady if he leaves New England in free agency are the Dolphins and Raiders. 
  • Pauline says it’s believed that Brady’s wife prefers Miami to other NFL cities that could be in play. Pauline also mentions a rumor that Brady will buy an ownership stake in the Dolphins after he’s done playing. 
  • Per FOX Sports’ Andy Slater, Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa‘s father told a producer he hopes his son is drafted by the Dolphins. 
  • Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald says the Tagovailoa family loves Miami. 

Jets

Patriots

Current 49ers WR coach Wes Welker basically pioneered the role of the modern slot receiver during his time with the Patriots from 2007-2012, hitting 111 catches or more in all but one of those seasons. During that time, he was mentoring his replacement in WR Julian Edelman, who has gone on to replace Welker in the same role and become New England’s most trusted receiver. Welker said he may have been hard on Edelman but the younger wideout was a receptive pupil. 

“He was trying to get better,” Welker said via NESN’s Doug Kyed. “I would have tried to do the same thing, for sure. He was trying to get better all of the time, and I was probably pretty tough on him because we needed him to step up. He may have a bitter taste in his mouth about that stuff or whatever, but it was all about trying to make our team better and make sure he knows, ‘If you do that, it’s not right. Don’t do that. You’re screwing up my play.’ He was good, and he listened, and he’s done really well for himself.”

Welker also marveled out how Edelman has kept himself in great physical shape. Despite battling through a multitude of injuries, Edelman played all 16 games and caught 100 passes for 1,117 yards at the age of 33. When he was 33, Welker had just 49 receptions for 464 yards and retired before he turned 34. 

“It’s incredible,” Welker said. “Shoot, the body starts to fail you especially when you start to get to that age. It gets harder and harder to get open. You’re almost using your savviness instead of your skillset. That’s always hard to do. It’s definitely very hard, especially when you start getting into your mid-30s to be able to put up those types of numbers.”

  • Per Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, both Patriots S Devin McCourty and CB Jason McCourty want to play in 2020 even if they’re not back in New England. 
  • Devin said he obviously would like to return, but it’s more up to the Patriots to decide if they actually want him back: “We’ll see how it goes. I think when you’re in the league for 10 years now you see how it’s a business… Is it a cool headline if I say I want to be back? Yeah, but that doesn’t really matter.” (Phil Perry)
  • He added he and his family are open to whatever opportunities may present themselves in free agency: “I still gotta see who’s interested… But it’s exciting for me. My kids are two and one. They can go anywhere. We’re just excited to be in this position. To have played my 10th year, had a good year, still have an opportunity to play and further my career.” (Perry)
  • Patriots LB Elandon Roberts said he of course would like to be back with the Patriots but it will be up to them to bring him back: “That’s where I started. Who wouldn’t want to be back where they started? But at the end of the day, it’s a business.” (Zack Cox)
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