AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots


  • The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia notes that while he wouldn’t rule out the Bills from pursuing a trade for Cardinals OLB Chandler Jones, there are significant logistics to overcome, like draft pick cost, cap space and figuring out how not to stunt the development of all the young defensive ends the Bills have drafted the past two years. 
  • Despite taking a pay cut this offseason, Bills DT Vernon Butler remains on the roster bubble in Buscaglia’s opinion and he wouldn’t be surprised if he’s cut or traded. 
  • Bills GM Brandon Beane has a tendency to make preseason trades and Buscaglia lists OL Forrest Lamp, OT Bobby Hart, DT Harrison Phillips and QB Jake Fromm as names to watch on that front this year. 
  • Free-agent addition DE Efe Obada has the leg up on DE Darryl Johnson heading into training camp, especially because he can also play special teams. (Buscaglia)
  • Buscaglia adds not to discount WR Jake Kumerow for a roster spot in Buffalo just yet either, especially since he can also play special teams. 


  • PFN’s Adam Beasley has heard Dolphins first-round WR Jaylen Waddle isn’t 100 percent recovered from his fractured ankle last season. He’s healthy enough to practice but he heavily tapes the ankle and still sometimes walks with a limp. 
  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler says a source told him it’s too early to say whether Dolphins CB Xavien Howard would sit out practices and games amid his contract dispute with the team. 
  • Fowler notes that Miami feels like it’s stuck by Howard through some injury and legal issues, and is of course reluctant to touch his contract with four years still left. 
  • However, Howard has noticed how Miami paid $6 million to essentially make G Ereck Flowers go away this offseason, gave LB Jerome Baker a better guarantee structure and paid CB Byron Jones more even though Howard is asked to cover the No. 1 receiver in the gameplan each week, per Fowler.
  • If Miami is interested in trading Howard, teams that come up as potential fits include the Texans, Cardinals, Cowboys and Chargers.  
  • According to Armando Salguero, there has been “no significant” contact between the Dolphins and Howard’s representation since his request.
  • Howard did not practice on Thursday due to a minor injury. (Jackson)
  • Dolphins HC Brian Flores declined to answer whether he expects Howard to be on their Week 1 lineup following his recent trade demand.  (Jackson)


  • ESPN’s Rich Cimini mentions the Jets were eyeing 49ers FB Kyle Juszczyk as a free-agent signing if San Francisco had let him get away.
  • Cimini thinks Jets TE Ryan Griffin could be a roster cut this preseason, pointing out he has a relatively high cap hit. 
  • He adds Jets DE Ronald Blair and LB Blake Cashman need to show they’re healthy to make the roster. 
  • According to the Athletic’s Jeff Howe, the Jets didn’t engage first-round QB Zach Wilson on contract negotiations until last week, then asked him to defer $6 million of his signing bonus until 2022. 
  • Wilson signed his four-year rookie contract on Thursday after New York dropped that demand. Jets HC Robert Saleh said during Thursday’s press conference he was concerned over the rookie missing too many practices: “It’s more concern for the kid. It’s too many (missed practices) already — for him. … This young man has a chance to do something special here that hasn’t been done in a long time.” (Ralph Vacchiano)


  • The Athletic’s Jeff Howe writes that Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham is a longshot from factoring into the picture for the starting job, while veteran QB Brian Hoyer is probably going to be cut. 
  • At running back, Howe has Brandon Bolden and J.J. Taylor on the outside looking in, pointing out Taylor has an uphill climb and fourth-round rookie Rhamondre Stevenson can replace Bolden on special teams. 
  • Howe notes Patriots FB Jakob Johnson still has an international roster exemption, so the team could put him on the practice squad and rely on TE Dalton Keene as a hybrid fullback. 
  • Patriots former third-round OT Yodny Cajuste didn’t distinguish himself in the spring, so even though New England needs depth at tackle, Howe has him being beaten out by Justin Herron and Will Sherman.
  • Howe projects the Patriots cutting LB Terez Hall and keeping just three inside linebackers given the versatility others on the roster have. 
  • Based on the spring, Howe would give Michael Jackson the edge over Joejuan Williams at corner but thinks ultimately both are on the outside of the roster bubble. 
  • Patriots TE Hunter Henry said he did hesitate to sign with the team after TE Jonnu Smith signed: “I definitely addressed the issue, but this offense is built for TEs. Obviously, they have had a lot of success with 2 TEs. We’re completely diff players from the guys in the past.” (Michael Giardi)
  • Patriots HC Bill Belichick praised RB Damien Harris‘ work ethic since last season: “Since the day after (last) season was over, he’s worked as hard as anybody in the offseason.” (Zack Cox)

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