AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Steelers

     

Bills

  • According to the Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia, Bills LB Corey Thompson is in line to become a starter at strongside linebacker following the retirement of Lorenzo Alexander, though Buffalo is expected to add competition. 
  • Buscaglia also says signing LB Matt Milano to an extension will be one of Buffalo’s top priorities this offseason. 
  • He also believes they’ll bring back key special teamer LB Julian Stanford

Dolphins

Despite a consistent denial they were tanking, the Dolphins pretty clearly entered the season not trying to make it to the Super Bowl in their own building. A lot has changed since then. Miami won five games to drop its pick to No. 5 and the “Tank For Tua” slogan taken up by fans lost some steam after Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa‘s severe hip injury. But Dolphins GM Chris Grier said he, owner Stephen Ross and HC Brian Flores are all on the same page — Miami needs to find a franchise quarterback and has “more than enough” draft capital to go get the one they want. 

“We’d like to find the right guy to be the quarterback,” Grier said via Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald. “You see how important it is around the league. So I wouldn’t just say it’s Steve. It’s Brian. Myself. Coaching staff. Scouts. We think it’s important that we find the right guy, and the leader, to be the quarterback here for a long time.”

Grier said the team will continue to evaluate Tagovailoa and that they were never “attached” to the prospect, despite the thought of them tanking intentionally for a quarterback. Grier added the team has yet to meet with Tagovailoa and their medical doctors have yet to screen him. 

We’ll evaluate him just like every player,” Grier said, via Beasley. “When people were talking about [us taking him], we said we weren’t tanking. We were trying to win and build. And so to say one player was attached to us, you can’t control what fans and people in the media say. So there’s no pressure for us. The pressure for us is to find the right guy to be the quarterback for the Dolphins, whether it’s him or someone else. That’s the pressure. Finding the right guy to lead the organization.”

Steelers

One the avenues the cap-strapped Steelers could explore to create space this offseason is an extension for DL Cameron Heyward. The 30-year-old Heyward has one more year left on his current deal and the Pittsburgh team captain said he would “be more than happy to facilitate” extension talks to stay with the team.

“June or July, but if we can get something done earlier, I would love it,” Heyward said via the Athletic’s Mark Kaboly. “They’ve done right by me so far, and I want to continue to do them right. That’s what I love about Pittsburgh — you have to earn your way. If I play well and they show me love, I want to show love back. I want to make sure as them being my employer and them being my family, you always want to make sure that you represent your family well.”

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