AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Patriots


  • Joe Buscaglia stands behind the Bills’ decision to re-sign LB Matt Milano, noting that he was one of their best players last season and fought through a pectoral injury. Buscaglia adds that Milano has only missed five of his first 50 career games and that the Bills would have been much worse without him last season. 
  • Josina Anderson reports that some within the Bills’ organization were surprised to see Milano not hit the market, adding that he emphasized the importance of the team’s culture and their readiness to take the next step.
  • Bills LB Matt Milano‘s four-year, $41.5 million deal includes $23.5 million in total guarantees and a $7 million signing bonus. His 2021 and 2022 base salaries of $5.5 million and $7.5 million are fully guaranteed with $9.25 million of his 2023 salary being guaranteed for injury. His $9.25 million 2024 salary is, however, non-guaranteed. 
  • When asked about re-signing with the Bills, Milano said he told his agent that he did not have any intention of leaving Buffalo: “I told my agent I love Buffalo and want to be in Buffalo. I love what they have going on there.” (Sal Capaccio)


The Dolphins previously came up as a team in the mix for Texans QB Deshaun Watson. Head coach Brian Flores addressed speculation around their quarterback position and said that he is “excited to work with” Tua Tagovailoa as he enters his second year in the league. 

“My reaction is I’m excited to work with Tua,” Flores said, via Nick Shook of Around the NFL. “I think I just mentioned that after the last question. That’s where my interests are, that’s where my excitement is. Again like I said, he’s a talented player. We, here, believe in developing players at all positions and I think with an offseason, with OTAs, with more reps, more repetitions, like any player, I think they develop and get better.”

Flores mentioned that he’s regularly meeting with Tagovailoa and reiterated his confidence in the young quarterback. 

“I think he feels the same way. Look, Tua and I had lunch yesterday. We talk about his family, and I think a lot of that development is about building relationships. He’s doing well, he’s confident, I’m confident in him, and I’m looking forward to this offseason.”

When asked about where things stand with free-agent QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Flores said they’d love to “have him back” but his possible cap figure could prevent them from re-signing the veteran.

“We have a lot of respect and admiration for him…he embodies all the characteristics we’re looking for. Honestly, we’d love to have him back,” said Flores, via Michael Giardi.

At No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, Flores said they will explore many different possibilities of what they can do with the pick. 

“Anytime you pick 3rd overall, there are a number of ways you can go…obviously having that type of pick, there are a lot of avenues we could go. We’ll explore those also,” said Flores, via Giardi.


  • According to Jeff Howe, the Patriots will remain active in the trade and free-agent markets at quarterback, even after re-signing QB Cam Newton on Friday. Howe says the situation at quarterback for New England remains “fluid.” 
  • Howe adds that New England plans to attend North Dakota State QB Trey Lance‘s Pro Day on Friday and their front office has done “a ton of work” on BYU’s Zach Wilson, Ohio State’s Justin Fields, and Alabama’s Mac Jones.
  • Nebraska OL Brenden Jaimes made 40 consecutive starts and met in person with every team at the Senior Bowl, yet he is still scheduled to meet virtually with the Patriots. (Justin Melo)

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