AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots


  • In a survey of NFL analytics personnel by ESPN’s Seth Walder, the Bills were mentioned in the second tier of teams as far as being analytically advanced.
  • Bills DT Ed Oliver missed some practice time this week with a knee injury but says he’s “fine.” (Thad Brown)



Jets’ first-round LT Mekhi Becton said he enjoys being a lead blocker and having runs directed his way. 

That’s always been my mentality since growing up. I always want the ball running behind me. It always feels good when I’m blocking my responsibility and I see the running back coming up my butt for a big gain,” said Becton, via Rich Cimini of ESPN.

  • ESPN’s Rich Cimini notes how Jets QB Sam Darnold and the team perform the rest of the season is critical for Darnold’s future. New York must make a decision on Darnold’s fifth-year option by next May which will be around $25 million fully guaranteed in 2022. 
  • If the Jets finish with the No. 1 overall pick and decide to take Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, Cimini notes Darnold’s contract would make him very tradable, though New York likely wouldn’t get back more than a second, if that. 
  • The Jets added third-round S Ashtyn Davis (groin) and starting RT George Fant (concussion) to the injury report Thursday. (Ralph Vacchiano)
  • Jets HC Adam Gase suggested UDFA WR Lawrence Cager could get called up from the practice squad, as they need anyone with “a pulse” at receiver this week. (Connor Hughes)


  • In a survey of NFL analytics personnel by ESPN’s Seth Walder, the Patriots were rated as one of the more analytically advanced teams despite perhaps not having as much of a formal department: “The New England one is interesting to me. I think they get credit from people that don’t actually know what it is they do. They have a lot of extremely intelligent people on staff. They’re able to come up with things similar to what analytics would produce, without actually doing what we’d call formal analytics.”
  • Former agent and CBS Sports analyst Joel Corry notes the Patriots could retain QB Cam Newton for as little as $25 million on the franchise tag given the expected drop in the cap in 2021. 
  • The Patriots brought in free agent DB J.T. Hassell in for COVID testing and an eventual tryout. (Mike Reiss)

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