AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets

     

Bills

  • The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia thinks the Bills might be less concerned about finding a “big nickel” this year than they have in the past now that both LBs Matt Milano and Tremaine Edmunds are locked up for the next few seasons. 
  • Buscaglia is also doubtful the Bills essentially give up on RBs Devin Singletary and Zack Moss and draft Clemson RB Travis Etienne in the first round. 
  • Buscaglia mentions Bills DT Harrison Phillips as a player they could look to trade if they add more to the defensive line this offseason. 
  • Tony Pauline of PFN reports that the Bills are interested in TE Jesse James but are not close to agreeing on a contract. Pauline adds that the Bills or another team may agree to a deal with James on Day 3 of the draft if they were unable to get a tight end in rounds 2-4.

Dolphins

  • Josh Tolentino of The Athletic says that after wide receivers Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson both sat out last season due to COVID-19 concerns, it is possible that at least one of them does not make the Dolphins roster in 2021.
  • Tolentino also theorizes that DB Bobby McCain will not finish out the season in Miami, as he is due $13.4 million over the final two years of his contract with cap hits of $7.14 million this season and $7.74 million in 2022.
  • One player who Tolentino does think will be sticking around is DE Emmanuel Ogbah, who may end up getting a contract extension from the Dolphins, according to Tolentino.
  • Another proposal from Tolentino includes a rookie running back leading the team in rushing yards, despite the emergence of RB Myles Gaskin last season.

Jets

According to Albert Breer, the Jets got an offer for QB Sam Darnold after the Lions traded QB Matthew Stafford to the Rams, but New York wasn’t ready to pull the trigger yet.

“It was a strong offer,” Jets GM Joe Douglas tells Breer, “We told them, ‘Look, there’s still a lot of boxes left to check. And we just don’t feel comfortable, in case something happens with one of the top two guys, we don’t want to get caught in a bad situation, like one of two guys fails a physical and then we don’t have Sam.’ So we didn’t do anything.”

Douglas admitted that his call to QB Sam Darnold letting him know he was being traded to the Carolina Panthers was a difficult one.

“The swallow-hard moment for me was just making that call to Sam,” Douglas said. “You know how much work and dedication he’s put in the last three years here, how many rough situations he’s been through, and never wavered with his confidence. Still, when we had the call, I know in his heart of hearts that he feels he was the right guy to turn this franchise around. I just have so much admiration for how he carries himself…So yeah, when that phone’s ringing, you know it’s going to be a difficult conversation. But at the same time, you know it’s not, because he’s such a first-class guy.”

After going through the evaluations, the Jets determined that there are two quarterbacks above the rest in this draft class.

“It was a clear-cut top two quarterbacks for us,” Douglas said. “And there was a consensus. At that point, we felt good about our options, like, O.K., we have two starting quarterbacks. Whether it’s Sam, the rookie or both, we feel really good about this.”

The Jets considered keeping Darnold while also drafting a quarterback, but they didn’t think it would work in New York.

“There were two sides. We can have Sam, we can have the rookie quarterback, they could coexist and be like the Alex Smith–Mahomes situation. But the reality is Alex Smith was much further in his career than Sam and Kansas City’s a lot different than New York. The thinking was, in a perfect world, this would be the way to handle it—Sam has a great year in a new offensive system, and we can reevaluate it, and we won’t have to push the rookie out on the field,” Douglas explained. 

“But just knowing what the day-to-day aspect would be next year if we did that, with a first-year head coach, the rookie, Sam, the team, the locker room, we just felt like that really wasn’t the best situation for all parties.”

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