AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots


  • Per the Buffalo News, the Bills, the NFL and the state of New York have reached an agreement on a deal for a new stadium that includes a 30-year lease and $1.4 billion in funding. 
  • The NFL will contribute $200 million, the Pegula family that owns the Bills will contribute $350 million, plus any overrun risk, the state of New York will pay $600 million and Erie County will pay $250 million. 
  • New York governor Kathy Hochul called the lease “ironclad” and said it includes penalties that require the Bills to pay back the entire cost of the stadium if they move the team: “Buffalo Bills fans have enough stress. I did not want them to have to worry about the future of the team.”
  • Bills HC Sean McDermott on the team matching the offer sheet that OL Ryan Bates signed with the Bears: “Ryan has done a great job for us. Every role he’s been in, he’s embraced it and put the team first so I really appreciate his influence on our team over the last couple years in particular.” (Brad Biggs)


Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel made it clear that QB Teddy Bridgewater has been signed as a backup to QB Tua Tagovailoa.

“Around the Combine, I was describing specifically what I thought Tua really needed in support with a backup quarterback,” McDaniel said, via “Unbeknownst to you guys, I was quite literally describing Teddy Bridgewater at the time, just not using his name. So, both players have (been) explicitly explained their roles and expectations. For that room to be their best, they need to know that.”

The following was McDaniel’s quote during the combine about adding a backup: “When you’re looking for a No. 2 quarterback, there are two things: You want him to benefit the starting quarterback while the starting quarterback is the starting quarterback and empower him with how they approach their daily game plan responsibilities, how they develop when they’re training in the offseason. But you also want a guy that can win games should the starter go down. So, a veteran backup is definitely in our discussions, but it’s the best player that we can find in whatever avenue and move forward from there.”


  • Jets HC Robert Saleh spoke about losing out on WR Tyreek Hill, calling it a “great opportunity to add a dynamic player to the offense” and referred to their offer as a big swing, adding “you win some and you lose some when you take those kinds of chances.” (Pro Football Talk)
  • Saleh also told reporters they’re changing plans and G Alijah Vera-Tucker will move to the right side this season so new signing Laken Tomlinson can play left guard. (Ralph Vacchiano)
  • Saleh revealed DE Carl Lawson “is doing great” in his return from injury and is expected back for training camp. (Brian Costello)
  • Saleh wants QB Zach Wilson to “own the playbook at a faster clip” and absorb the scheme so he can play a lot faster. Saleh added that he doesn’t think that was a knock on Wilson, but he expects more from him now that he has a year of experience in the system. (Rich Cimini)
  • Jets owner Woody Johnson was asked about the urgency to win: “We’re in it. Just follow what we’ve done … not afraid of taking risk and putting all our chips on a player like Tyreek … we’d do something like that again if we see something.” (Cimini)


  • ESPN’s Mike Reiss reports Patriots TE Jonnu Smith plans to spend the offseason in New England as a full participant in the voluntary offseason program. Smith didn’t do this last year, given that he was awaiting the birth of his daughter and there were COVID considerations related to that.  
  • Patriots HC Bill Belichick told reporters Matt Patricia is helping with administration stuff like salary cap and COVID, but he’ll now be working with their offense, even though most of his background is on defense: “Matt’s a great coach, Joe (Judge) is a great coach, they’ll help us no matter what position they’re coaching.” (Kyle Meinke)
  • Regarding the Patriots’ relative lack of signings in free agency this year, Belichick said: “Spent a lot of money last year. Those guys are all young and under contract.” (Doug Kyed)

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