AFC East Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Patriots

     

Bills

  • Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced Friday that the Bills have informed the county that they will not exercise their one-time opt-out clause in their New Era Field lease.
  • The Bills had to opt out by February 28, which would have allowed the lease to expire on July 30 of this year.
  • Since the team did not do so, they are now under contract through the end of the lease, which will be up after the 2023 season.

Dolphins

  • According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, rumors about Tom Brady possibly joining the Dolphins this offseason are gaining steam at the Super Bowl.
  • Florio notes that the Dolphins have long-time Patriots assistant Brian Flores in place as their head coach and could use help at quarterback.
  • Bringing Brady would also allow Miami to use their draft capital to build out their roster around him. Beyond that, Florio mentions that Miami could be appealing to Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen.
  • Florio says that some believe Stephen Ross may decide to sell the Dolphins franchise “much sooner than later” which could open the door for Bruce Beal to exercise his option to purchase the franchise. Florio adds that Beal could offer Brady an ownership stake if he ends up taking over as the team’s owner.
  • This fits with a recent report from Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline.
  • However, Ross was later asked if he would ever sell the team and replied: “I have no interest in selling the team. Zero. Got it? That I can tell you. People can write what they want to write. I’m going to own it till I die.” (Joe Schad)
  • Ross also downplayed the idea of Brady signing with the Dolphins: “I don’t really know why he’d come to the Dolphins. … We’re at a stage where we want to build a team for the future.” (David Wilson)
  • Regarding Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa, Ross said: “Tua is a great player. I’m just worried about his health.” (Armando Salguero)
  • Ian Rapoport reports that Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick confirmed that he’s playing in 2020. Rapoport adds that with Miami wanting Fitzpatrick to be back, it’s likely he’ll return to the Dolphins.  

Patriots

  • Retired Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski admitted that he “100 percent lost a step” in his final season:  “I 100 percent lost a step (last year). I actually lost like three steps some games. I didn’t even want to be out there on the field. I was like, ‘Yo, I feel like complete ass. Coach, put Dwayne (Allen) in, I don’t even care.’ I was at that point.” (Ryan Hannable)
  • Doug Kyed of NESN mentions that the Patriots have some ways to boost their cap space beyond the projected $30 million or so they should have to work with this year.
  • Some extension candidates that would free up some cap room, according to Kyed, include: Dont’a Hightower ($5.6 million), WR Mohamed Sanu ($4.4M), S Duron Harmon ($2M), DT Lawrence Guy ($1.7M), RB James White ($1.7M) and C David Andrews ($1.7M).
  • Should the Patriots look to cut some players, they would net Hightower ($8.9 million), OT Marcus Cannon ($3.8 million), Sanu ($6.5 million), CB Jason McCourty ($4 million), Harmon ($4.25 million), K Stephen Gostkowski ($3.9 million) and RB Rex Burkhead ($3 million).
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