AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Bills

Bills C Mitch Morse was one of the team’s major free-agent acquisitions in 2019 and played well as the starter all last year. 2020 did not go as smoothly, though, as Morse battled concussions and was not as effective as the team expected him to be. He even lost his starting job late in the year, which brought his future with Buffalo into question. Bills GM Brandon Beane said a shift in philosophy along the offensive line hurt Morse as well. 

“Mitch is more of an athletic center than a power center,” Beane said via the Athletic’s Matthew Fairburn. “Just every year is a new year, and you kind of get in the groove of what’s working, what’s not, but Mitch is never going to be a guy that’s going to mow a nose tackle 3 yards down the field. But at the end of the day, I thought he played well overall this season, and especially the second half of the season I thought he did.”

  • Bills TE Tyler Kroft is a free agent and Fairburn expects the team to let him leave as they try to upgrade the position with a more dynamic playmaker. 
  • He mentions Titans TE Jonnu Smith as a potential free-agent target for the Bills depending on how much he’s after and if he makes it to the market. 
  • Fairburn says there could be a lot of turnover on the offensive and defensive lines for the Bills as they work to solidify the offense and manage high salary cap hits on the defense. 
  • Fairburn also points out to keep an eye on a hybrid nickel defender, as Bills HC Sean McDermott has wanted someone to fill that role in his defense for a while. 

Dolphins

  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport said new assistant Charlie Frye will take over for George Godsey as Dolphins QB coach as Godsey becomes co-offensive coordinator.
  • Rapoport adds Frye will have some influence in the offense coming over from the college game alongside Godsey and other Dolphins co-OC Eric Studesville

Jets

  • According to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero, the Jets are hiring Marquand Manuel as their new safeties coach and 49ers DB coach Tony Oden as a senior defensive assistant/cornerbacks coach. 

Patriots

  • Per NESN’s Zack Cox, Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who’s a pending free agent, said on the Pat McAfee Show he wouldn’t rule out the Patriots if they were interested in him this offseason: “For me, I can’t be as picky as Matt Stafford.”
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