AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Bills

  • The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia writes about the Bills’ pending need at defensive end with an aging trio of starters in Jerry Hughes, Mario Addison and Trent Murphy and he thinks there’s a good chance Buffalo spends another high pick on a defensive end. 
  • Buscaglia highlights Miami DE Jaelan Phillips as a strong fit but adds there’s a good chance he’s not on the board when the Bills pick at No. 30. Some more realistic options in the first round might be Michigan DE Kwity Paye or Miami DE Gregory Rousseau
  • If the Bills waited until the second or third round, Buscaglia also really likes the potential and fit for Houston DE Payton Turner, Washington DE Joe Tryon and Oklahoma DE Ronnie Perkins.
  • Conversely, Buscaglia doesn’t think that Penn State DE Jayson Oweh, Wake Forest DE Carlos Basham or Texas DE Joseph Ossai make sense for the Bills, either due to scheme limitations or otherwise. 
  • The NFLPA released its calculations for the performance-based pay benefit that was eliminated in 2020 but will still be paid by teams. Each team split $8.5 million between its players and payments are deferred to 2024. 
  • The top Bills player was CB Taron Johnson ($578,749). 
  • Auburn WR Eli Stove, who also returns kicks and punts and played gunner on special teams, has met virtually with the Bills. (Justin Melo)

Dolphins

  • Paul Dehner Jr. believes former Bengals RB Giovani Bernard‘s would have “a lot of interest” playing for the Dolphins given his father lives in Miami and only attended his game when visiting his hometown in South Florida. 
  • Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald points out that the Dolphins still need to create a sizable chunk of cap space to be able to sign their draft picks and have an emergency budget to work with in-season. 
  • Jackson lists some of the levers the Dolphins could pull, including restructuring CB Byron Jones ($9.4 million), G Ereck Flowers ($4 million), LB Benardrick McKinney ($4 million) and S Bobby McCain ($2.7 million).
  • Miami could also release WRs Albert Wilson ($2.85 million saved), Allen Hurns ($1.2 million) or Jakeem Grant ($4 million) after June 1 for additional savings, though Jackson notes the team is a big fan of Grant. 
  • Other possible June 1 cut options include McCain ($6.4 million), S Eric Rowe ($5.5 million) or S Clayton Fejedelem ($2.5 million).
  • McKinney told Jackson he’s on track to be ready for training camp after having shoulder surgery last season. 
  • The NFLPA released its calculations for the performance-based pay benefit that was eliminated in 2020 but will still be paid by teams. Each team split $8.5 million between its players and payments are deferred to 2024. 
  • The top Dolphins player was LB Andrew Van Ginkel ($455,750).

Jets

  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reports the Jets have received “very little conversation” from interested teams for the No. 2 overall pick. In fact, Rapoport mentioned that the 49ers “didn’t even make an offer” about the second overall pick. 
  • According to Rapoport, other NFL organizations are “so confident” that the Jets will select BYU QB Zach Wilson at No. 2 overall that they are refraining from contacting them.
  • In an effort to make sure their next potential franchise quarterback doesn’t go the same way Sam Darnold did, ESPN’s Rich Cimini believes the Jets should use some of their cache of draft picks on bolstering the receiving corps, even though they signed WR Corey Davis in free agency. 
  • He also thinks the Jets need to bring in an experienced veteran quarterback to serve in a mentor role for the rookie, perhaps someone like Alex Smith.
  • Auburn WR Eli Stove, who also returns kicks and punts and played gunner on special teams, has met virtually with the Jets. (Justin Melo)

Patriots

  • Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports mentions Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers as a potential sleeper candidate to be traded to a receiver-needy team.
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes he has a hunch the Patriots would be willing to trade up from the No. 15 pick if Ohio State QB Justin Fields started to fall.
  • Otherwise, Breer believes the Patriots are more likely to target someone like Stanford QB Davis Mills or Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond later in the draft. 

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