AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots


  • The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia writes that Bills DT Star Lotulelei‘s decision to opt out of 2020 makes it harder for Buffalo to release him following the 2021 season. 
  • Lotulelei’s primary replacement figures to be Bills DT Harrison Phillips, who was playing well before tearing his ACL last year, per Buscaglia. 
  • He adds free-agent signing DT Vernon Butler will play more snaps in 2020. Bills DE Darryl Johnson could also have his chances at the final roster improved, which would help DL Quinton Jefferson be able to kick inside to tackle. 
  • Buscaglia mentions Bills DE Trent Murphy is likely in danger of being cut given the potential cap savings of $7.3 million. 
  • Bills DT Vincent Taylor likely needs another player ahead of him to opt out or go down to secure a spot on the roster, though Buscaglia thinks he has a good shot at the practice squad. 
  • According to NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo, Bills WR Cole Beasley’s back issue that landed him on the non-football injury list is not “any reason for concern” and he is expected to be fully recovered soon. 


  • Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that Dolphins’ second-year OL Michael Deiter will get reps at center “during training camp and potentially beyond” after starting at left guard last season.
  • Jackson adds that the Dolphins still plan on using Dieter at guard, but are “eager to see” how he does at center. Dieter could also compete at right guard. 
  • According to Jackson, Dolphins RT Jesse Davis is expected to continue starting at right tackle or move to right guard. However, Miami would like to see how second-round OL Robert Hunt does at right tackle before making any final decisions. 


  • SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano discussed the recent S Jamal Adams trade and noted that GM Joe Douglas said he had no regrets about trading Adams for a package that was “too good to pass up” and that he was working on the deal long before Adams became critical of the Jets organization. 
  • Vacchiano says that Douglas is also looking forward to what he can do not only with the draft picks but with the salary cap relief that the Jets will now have since they do not have to fulfill Adams’ contract wishes. 
  • Vacchiano says that the flexibility to fill other roster holes and the fact that the team has the possible ability to add four elite level players on rookie contracts was likely too valuable for Douglas to pass up, even though Douglas will have to make good on the draft picks.
  • According to Vacchiano, the team now has the ability to sign additional free agents, and that top free agent Jadeveon Clowney would be a good place to start.
  • New Jets S Bradley McDougald was teammates with Clowney last year in Seattle and says the pass rusher told him to tell the team to come get him. (Twitter)


  • NFL Media’s Michael Giardi was surprised FB Danny Vitale chose to opt-out since he has been working out relentlessly. Giardi also mentions third-round TE Dalton Keene did spend time in virtual meetings with the fullbacks. 
  • NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo says Patriots WR and special teamer Matthew Slater came close to opting out but elected to stay for the 2020 season. 
  • Garafolo adds if Slater had opted out, it could have prompted more players from New England to join him. The Patriots already lead the NFL with six opt-outs so far. 

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