AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Dolphins

  • Per ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said in an interview on CNBC he’s optimistic the NFL will be able to have a season in 2020: “I think there definitely will be a football season this year. Real question is, will there be fans in the stadium? Right now — today — we’re planning to have fans in the stadium.”
  • The Dolphins earlier this offseason revealed some mockups for how an NFL game would operate under social distancing guidelines at Hard Rock Stadium, with 15,000 fans in attendance, required masks, staggered entering and exiting to avoid contact and concession orders from the seats instead of going to the concourse. 
  • Over The Cap’s Jason Fitzgerald has the Dolphins ranked in the first tier in his cap health index for 2021, which measures a team’s estimated cap space, cap flexibility and pending free agents. 

Jets

  • According to Albert Breer of SI, young non-quarterbacks could have a difficult time landing big-money extensions in the coming months, due to the uncertainty with the cap moving forward and the possibility of revenue shortfalls from the 2020 season. 
  • Breer specifically mentions Jets S Jamal Adams as being among the notable players who could fall into this group.

Patriots

  • The Athletic’s Jeff Howe writes that had the Patriots conducted OTAs and minicamp, it would have been the first look at how QB Jarrett Stidham handled the pressure of being a starter. 
  • Howe says Patriots RB Sony Michel has the potential to start quicker as this will be his first offseason he’s not coming off some procedure on his knee. 
  • ESPN’s Mike Reiss writes the key question with Michel is if he can establish himself more in the passing game. He caught 61 passes in college but has just 19 catches as a professional. New England also runs the ball 70 percent of the time when Michel is on the field and passes 73 percent of the time when he’s off the field. 
  • Howe adds 2019 third-round RB Damien Harris could push veteran RB Rex Burkhead off the roster with a strong training camp. 
  • Howe mentions Patriots WR N’Keal Harry showed more chemistry as a rookie with Stidham than he did with Tom Brady last year, so there’s hope for the former first-round pick. 
  • The Patriots gave WR Damiere Byrd $600,000 guaranteed, which Howe says indicates they expect Byrd to be a strong challenger for a roster spot at receiver.
  • If WR Marqise Lee is healthy, he’ll join the challengers to the incumbents for the No. 4 and No. 5 receiver jobs, Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski
  • Howe lists former Auburn WR Will Hastings and former Miami WR Jeff Thomas as the undrafted rookie receivers to watch as early challengers for a roster spot. 
  • Patriots OT Marcus Cannon changed agencies this offseason, which Howe thinks could be a sign New England has approached him about reworking his contract since Cannon is under contract through 2021. 
  • Howe points out with a non-guaranteed $2.133 million cap hit, Patriots G Jermaine Eluemunor likely needs a really strong camp to keep his job. 
  • The Patriots could use the 4-3 more as a base defense instead of the 3-4 this season, per Howe. The 3-4 is more complicated to install, and the Patriots have a shortened offseason to acclimate rookie LBs Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings in place of veterans Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Elandon Roberts
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