AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Patriots

     

Bills

When asked about the feasibility of re-signing QB Josh Allen this offseason instead of exercising his fifth-year option, GM Brandon Beane believes they can “make something fit” for Allen but it will require creativity to make an extension work right now. 

“I think we can make something fit,” Beane said, via Chris Brown of the team’s official site. “Without getting into how we would do it, we could make it fit. There are ways that we can do it. We’ll have to be creative with it for sure based on our current cap situation, but I definitely think it could be done.”

Beane added that he’s unsure if they’ll be able to re-sign free-agents G Jon Feliciano and OT Daryl Williams based on their possible market values. 

“Whether we can get them back, I don’t know,” said Beane. “We’ll have to see where their markets are, but if not, we’ll have to try and find some similar replacements at a cost-effective number.”

Bills HC Sean McDermott identified their pass-rushing a “critical area” for improvement this offseason. 

“That’s a critical area for our football team to improve,” said McDermott. “We’ve got to be able to affect the quarterback with a four-man rush. I thought at times we did, at other times we could have been better, so there’s still meat on the bone there.”

Although Beane and the Bills would like to re-sign impending free-agent OLB Matt Milano, they will allow him to see his full value on the open market. 

“Matt is a very good player,” said Beane. “His biggest thing is playing 16 games. That will be the first thing he’ll tell you. We’d love to be able to get Matt back. He knows that. I shared that with him and I’m sure Sean (McDermott) has as well. The business side matters. He wants to and he’s earned the right to go to free agency and see what his market bears. We’ll do our best to retain him. There are going to be some tough decisions unfortunately for us, whether it’s letting guys go on this roster or having to watch guys leave.”

Dolphins

Veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick says that QB Tua Tagovailoa will likely come into his own during his second NFL season and the Dolphins should do their best to stand behind him.

“Everything is going to be a little more comfortable this year,” Fitzpatrick told Cameron Wolfe of ESPN. “Playing in the league is going to be a little more familiar, your routine through the week and on road games. He’s no longer trying to figure out where the grocery store is, where he’s going to live or what car he’s going to drive. All that stuff is figured out. He can solely focus on being an NFL QB…They drafted him in the top five for a reason, with his skill set and what he can do. There are very few people on this planet who can do that. For them to be fully bought in and believe in him, he’s going to do the same thing. He’s going to buy into what they’re coaching and I think good results are going to come from it.”

Fitzpatrick knew coming into last season with the Dolphins that questions would pour in about whether he should be the starter, or if it should be Tagovailoa.

“That’s the nature of being a QB in the spotlight,” said Fitzpatrick. “Unless you’re winning the Super Bowl, there are always going to be questions and rumors. You look at a guy like Jared Goff, who was in the Super Bowl a few years ago and a No. 1 pick, now he’s on another team. I saw Tua’s comments from the other day. The advice I would give him and what he’s going to do is put your head down, you go to work, you tune all that stuff out and you let your presence, leadership ability, and play on the field doing all the talking for you. There’s always going to be rumors. There’s always going to be haters and doubters. As long as you have the belief in yourself and a team that believes in you because of how you carry yourself every day, that’s what matters. It gets harder and harder as social media is such a big part of everybody’s life now to tune it out, but that’s what he has to do, and that’s what I think he’s going to do.”

Patriots

Patriots’ veteran DB Jason McCourty said it is his “understanding” that four of New England’s players to opt-out last offseason will be back next season, including LB Dont’a Hightower, S Patrick Chung, RB Brandon Bolden, and OT Marcus Cannon.

“From my understanding they’ll all be back,” said McCourty, via Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports. “B. Bolden, High, Chung. So I can’t wait. Those are my guys – (Marcus) Cannon. I just can’t wait to be back around those guys. Even outside of football, seeing them every day, seeing their nice faces.

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