AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Jets, Patriots



  • According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, while the Dolphins aren’t opposed to starting first-round QB Tua Tagovailoa if he proves he’s ready as a rookie, Miami is expecting veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to start Week 1. 
  • Not only does Fitzpatrick have quite a bit more NFL experience, he’s also already quite familiar with Dolphins OC Chan Gailey‘s system. Tagovailoa meanwhile won’t be able to prove himself on the field until training camp. 


After signing with the Jets for their open backup quarterback job, 2020 will be the first season in Joe Flacco‘s career that he hasn’t opened the year as the starter. Flacco was relegated to the bench after an injury in each of the past two seasons with the Ravens and Broncos, losing his starting job each time to a younger option like Lamar Jackson or Drew Lock. The last injury will end up sidelining Flacco until nearly the start of the season as he recovers from neck surgery, which his father says made it easier for him to accept a backup job. 

“It’s a lot easier for him to be in [a backup] position knowing he’s less than 100 percent,” Steve Flacco said via ESPN’s Rich Cimini. “He won’t be healthy coming out of the gate, but he’ll be good for the team because of his experience. He knows how to prepare, and he loves to work. He’ll be helpful to their young quarterback [Darnold]. He won’t try to coach him — they have coaches — but his experience should help the quarterback room. We’re excited for him. It’s kind of exciting to play for the Jets. It’s cool to be where Joe Namath was at one point.”

  • Cimini writes his strong sense is the Jets would prefer to wait until 2021 to sign S Jamal Adams to a long-term deal, arguing it’s rare for first-round picks to sign extensions after three seasons. 
  • CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora adds there’s likely not going to be a resolution to the situation anytime soon, as the Jets want to wait on a long-term deal and there likely won’t be a team willing to meet both New York and Adams’ asking price with the current uncertainty surrounding the NFL. 


  • ESPN’s Mike Reiss reports the Patriots have asked 2019 second-round CB Joejuan Williams to do some work at safety as well in an effort to find snaps for the 6-3, 212-pound defensive back in a crowded secondary. 
  • Reiss points out Patriots S Patrick Chung‘s new deal helps him if he’s suspended for his drug arrest last year. Chung received a $3 million signing bonus while his 2020 base salary was reduced from $2.9 million to $1.1 million, lowering any potential game checks he would forfeit and giving him more money upfront. 
  • Reiss expects Patriots third-round TE Dalton Keene to also receive some work at fullback, as Vitale mentioned Keene as one of the players he was brought on to help. 

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