AFC East Notes: Bills, Jets, Patriots

     

Bills

  • Per NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero, Bills DT Ed Oliver will continue to participate in Buffalo’s virtual offseason program as the team lets the legal process play out following Oliver’s arrest this weekend for charges including a DWI. 

Jets

  • Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reiterates that Jets RB Le’Veon Bell is likely playing his final season with the team and could even be a trade candidate at the deadline if the Jets are out of the playoff hunt.
  • Mehta points out Jets GM Joe Douglas would not have signed Bell to his current deal and HC Adam Gase was against it at the time as well. 
  • Mehta adds his understanding is new Jets RB Frank Gore was signed to be more than a backup. Gore was unhappy with his sparse usage to end last year with the Bills and Gase believes in a committee approach at running back. 
  • Regarding Jets S Marcus Maye, Mehta believes a third-round pick would be fair compensation for the veteran, who also would be a candidate to be moved at the deadline if New York is out of contention. 
  • ESPN’s Rich Cimini writes that extending both Maye and S Jamal Adams would be a significant financial investment in the position, which is why the odds are Maye moves on after the 2020 season, particularly given New York’s selection of S Ashtyn Davis in the third round this year. 
  • Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy believes Jets second-round WR Denzel Mims will be a friendly target for QB Sam Darnold: “You go back to Denzel’s tape at Baylor… You didn’t see someone in his hip pocket and having to separate, which is where he made the jump in Mobile. You saw all that stuff. In one-on-one drills, he did a great job of shaking people at the line of scrimmage. … At the top of routes, he consistently separated and he made a bunch of crazy plays on the ball. There probably wasn’t a better guy during our week in terms of making contested [catches] and those acrobatic plays on the ball.”
  • Nagy says third-round DE Jabari Zuniga should be able to contribute as a situational pass rusher and has some intriguing potential: “The thing I like most about him is his versatility as a pass-rusher. He can threaten off the edge and he’s also a mismatch inside. He’s a guy you can move around and he can get to the quarterback from multiple alignments. I think his weight can go up and down. He’s one of those guys that has kind of a moldable body, so you can make him whatever you want to make him.”
  • While fourth-round RB Lamical Perine ran just a 4.6 second 40-yard dash, Nagy says he has enough burst to be a starter in the NFL: “We’ve seen midround running backs emerge as ‘the guy.’ It wouldn’t surprise me, in two or three years, if that’s what La’Mical Perine is for the Jets.”
  • Sixth-round P Braden Mann was one of the consensus best specialists in this year’s draft class: “He’s a guy that I think is going to punt in the league for a really long time.”
  • Jets QB David Fales is set to make a base salary of $910,000 with $100,000 guaranteed and count just $750,000 against the cap. 

Patriots

While the outside world hasn’t seen much of Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham, New England has seen enough to roll with the 2019 fourth-round pick as their presumed starter in 2020. Based on what they saw in practice, other Patriots players like RB Rex Burkhead say that Stidham might surprise some people who think the Patriots have a hole at quarterback. 

“Very impressed,” Burkhead said on WEEI radio. “Last year even though he didn’t step on the field that much, just seeing his improvement every day on the practice field, in meetings. He’s a very humble guy and he came in eager to work right away and picked it up so quickly. I think that is what struck me, how quickly he picked up the offense from the get-go. He’s out there making calls, making adjustments in audibles like he has been in this system for a while. I’m excited for him. Excited for his opportunity. Whoever is at quarterback — whether it’s him, [Brian Hoyer], whoever — just ready to follow them.”

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