AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Bills

Bills’ HC Sean McDermott said he and the team have been keeping tabs on veteran WR Emmanuel Sanders for the past few seasons.

“He’s a guy we’ve tracked for a couple of years. He’s been in winning locker rooms,” McDermott said, via the Associated Press. “He’s had some big-time impressive numbers. Listen, you never want to lose your fastball.”

Even Sanders said he was keeping track of the Bills and their rising QB Josh Allen.

“I used to sit on my off days on a Tuesday, I’d grab my iPad, and I would watch the Buffalo Bills, the coach’s film, and just the routes they were running,” Sanders said. “You’re seeing Josh [Allen] run around and rip the ball 60 yards down the field, it was just exciting to watch. It’s a reason why everybody is starting to talk about the Bills because they’re gaining traction.”

Dolphins

  • The Athletic’s Josh Tolentino expects the Dolphins to target one of the top running backs available in the draft to be their starter in 2021. 
  • Tolentino writes that the Dolphins are also intrigued with reuniting QB Tua Tagovailoa with one of his former Alabama receivers, either DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle
  • He has a hard time seeing either Albert Wilson or Allen Hurns making the team after opting out last season. 
  • Tolentino says the Dolphins expect to bring back most of their offensive line and could look to draft a center to develop, perhaps sooner rather than later, behind free-agent addition Matt Skura.
  • Tolentino also lists linebacker as a big need for the Dolphins and a position they could look to address in the first round. 
  • New Dolphins WR Will Fuller confirmed he took a one-year deal with the goal of proving himself and getting a long-term deal next offseason, whether in Miami or elsewhere: “I’m super excited to be here in Miami. I want to take a one year to prove to the NFL, to the Dolphins, they would love to have long-term.” (Barry Jackson)

Jets

  • The Athletic’s Connor Hughes writes to keep an eye on former 49ers RB Tevin Coleman, as the Jets have yet to address the position and Coleman worked with new OC Mike LaFleur in San Francisco. 
  • Hughes notes league sources spoke highly of new Jets WR Keelan Cole as someone who could play both outside and in the slot: “Speed. You’re getting speed with him.”
  • Jets TE Ryan Griffin isn’t a lock for the roster in 2021, as cutting him frees up $1.8 million and Hughes points out the Jets signed TE Tyler Kroft and remain hopeful for TE Chris Herndon to develop. 
  • With New York unwilling to fork over the cash needed to add a prominent interior lineman in free agency, Hughes says the Jets will have to address their weakness at guard in the draft. 
  • Hughes adds he thinks the Jets’ inactivity at cornerback, where they have yet to sign anyone besides special teamer Justin Hardee, indicates they’re eyeing the draft to bolster the position. 
  • Per SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, new Jets WR Corey Davis said he wasn’t scared off by the uncertainty of New York’s quarterback situation: “The situation, it is what it is. Obviously I’m coming in with my understand that Sam is the guy. That doesn’t scare me away at all. I’ve seen Sam do great things.”
  • Davis elaborated further, saying he signed with the understanding that Sam Darnold would be the starting quarterback in 2021. (Vacchiano)
  • Jets DT Sheldon Rankins explained his decision to sign with New York during an interview with Sirius XM NFL Radio. “When (Robert Saleh) called me and expressed his interest and how much he really wanted me to be a part of this, the vision he had for me and Quinnen (Williams) inside and Carl (Lawson) on the edge, it got me fired up.” (Rich Cimini)

Patriots

  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport says there are still four or five teams with the means and desire to go after a trade for Texans QB Deshaun Watson. The Patriots don’t appear to be one of them, however.
  • Patriots C Ted Karras looked like he was coming back to New England to start at center until the team brought back incumbent David Andrews the next day. Karras appears to be taking it in stride, though: “Nothing is ever promised in this organization. I got the opportunity with the contract. I’m going to have to earn any role I get.” (Doug Kyed)
  • Added Karras: “I’m so happy for David. Great football player. Great friend.”
  • Karras is open to playing any other role the Patriots have in mind: “I’ll play any position to survive in this league if they’ll give me a job.” (Jeff Howe)
  • Karras’ deal includes a $2 million signing bonus, $1 million guaranteed base salary and up to $1 million in incentives. (Mike Reiss)
  • Boston College LB Isaiah McDuffie has had a virtual meeting with the Patriots. (Justin Melo)

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