AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Bills

  • Per ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques, Bills WR Stefon Diggs says he didn’t say anything to push his way out of Minnesota before the Vikings traded him to Buffalo: “I never really was too vocal about it, it was time for a new beginning.” 
  • Diggs hinted that he’ll want his contract addressed at some point but for now that’s on the backburner: “Things will be discussed at one point, but no rush. I’m more focused on football at this point.” (Sal Capaccio)

Dolphins

Jets

  • Brian Costello of the New York Post says not to expect the Jets to sign either DE Jadeveon Clowney or CB Logan Ryan unless they’re willing to sign for $5 million or less. 
  • Costello believes Jets GM Joe Douglas would like to carry over as much cap space as possible to 2021 when other teams are struggling with the projected drop. 
  • More than any teamwide performance, Costello writes Jets HC Adam Gase will be judged on how QB Sam Darnold develops. If Darnold stalls or takes a step back, that would be worse for Gase than another losing season. 
  • Gase said losing LB C.J. Mosley after he opted out was hard but the Jets do have pretty good depth at inside linebacker: “Obviously we’ll miss him this season… We do have a lot of depth at that position.” (Manish Mehta)
  • Gase hasn’t decided if the team will pick two starters at inside linebacker or go with a rotation but adds it will work itself out. (Connor Hughes)
  • Jets LB Avery Williamson is getting closer to being cleared by the trainers after tearing his ACL last preseason: “I don’t think we’re too far away…. He’s excited to get out of the trainers’ room.” (Mehta)
  • Williamson said he turned a corner in his rehab back in May and June and expects to be ready by Week 1: “As long as I’m ready for the season — which I know I will be — that’s all that matters.” (Mehta)
  • Gase told reporters Jets RB Le’Veon Bell is “extremely motivated” and in “phenomenal shape” entering the 2020 season: (Rich Cimini)

Patriots

The biggest question, outside of health, for new Patriots QB Cam Newton is how he’ll fit in New England’s regimented program as someone who prides himself on not fitting into any box but his own. Former NFL DT Kyle Love, who played his first three seasons in New England and was Newton’s teammate for five years, says there’s something to that question. 

“Being a professional in New England is different from being a professional in Carolina. It’s a whole different ballgame,” Love said via Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald. “Bill wants things run a certain way, wants things practiced a certain way and said a certain way in the classroom and in the media. New England is not for everybody. Every player does not fit well there physically or mentally.”

Love added Newton is used to being treated like the star he is but Patriots HC Bill Belichick is noted for ripping apart even QB Tom Brady, which is something Newton will have to adjust to. 

“This is just my opinion, but I don’t feel like Cam can take the pressure of coaches talking down about his play. If he had a bad game in Carolina, the coaching staff wouldn’t say much to him because they may have felt he could be a little frail about it or maybe pout,” Love said. “They never really corrected to the point Bill used to correct Tom.”

However, Love added that as far as work ethic and love of the game, there were very few players he worked with who compare to Newton. He also mentioned he’s heard Belichick has lightened up some from when he played there from 2010 to 2012. Still, he’s unsure if Newton and New England will be the best match. 

“My fear is, can Cam fit in their box? Because I want Cam to win. I want Cam to be successful. I want to see him win games and even a championship, because I love that dude. I just hope he can do that within the guidelines of what Bill wants,” Love said.

  • Patriots G Joe Thuney said Newton has been great at Patriots camp so far: “He’s been great. A lot of great energy. He’s working hard so far.” (Doug Kyed)
  • Thuney added he’s open to moving to right tackle if the team needs him to replace OT Marcus Cannon, who opted out: “Whatever can help the team.” (Karen Guregian)
  • Patriots CB Jonathan Jones also is willing to play whatever position the team needs this year. Jones is primarily a nickel defender but he’s also played safety at times the past two seasons. (Kyed)
  • Patriots LB Ja’Whaun Bentley, a projected starter, says he’s stayed in contact with LB Dont’a Hightower for support even after the latter opted out. (Kyed)
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