AFC Notes: Bills, Jets, Patriots

     

Bills

Bills HC Sean McDermott said they expect to see further growth from TE Dawson Knox in his second year. 

“Dawson’s had a good offseason to this point. We do expect a year of growth and a year of development,” McDermott said, via BillsWire.com. “Really encouraged by the way that he’s approached things, the way that he’s worked on his body this offseason from what it appears. I think a big piece of it is going to be his availability and his consistency.”

Jets

Expectations were high for Jets TE Chris Herndon entering his second season last year. Jets HC Adam Gase had hyped him up as a major piece of the offense but a four-game suspension derailed the start of Herndon’s season and injuries limited him to just a handful of snaps the rest of the year. However, Herndon’s still eyeing a major breakout a year later. 

“It wasn’t ideal how everything played out,” Herndon said via Ethan Greenberg of the team’s website. “I wish it could’ve gone the opposite way, but for me, it was definitely a year where I was forced to sit down and really just learn. [I] use it as a learning experience — how quick one injury, one decision, how fast things can be taken from you. Also, just learn to appreciate those things because like they say, you never know how much you miss something until it’s gone. It was a big learning year for me, but I’m ready.”

Patriots

  • ESPN’s Mike Reiss says it appears the most likely outcome for the Patriots and G Joe Thuney is the veteran will play out 2020 on the one-year, $14.78 million franchise tag. The two sides have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal but the future cap implications from the pandemic could complicate those.
  • For a long-term deal, Reiss says Thuney is likely looking for the amount of two franchise tags, $31-$32 million, in guaranteed money, which Reiss believes will be too rich for New England. 
  • Reiss mentions a short-term extension for cap relief could be a possibility but it likely would need to be fully-guaranteed for Thuney to bite. 
  • He adds a trade would also be difficult as cap space is at a premium right now and a new team would face similar challenges in extending Thuney.  
  • Reiss notes Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu appears to be nearing 100 percent following ankle surgery last year. 
  • Per Reiss, Patriots CB Jason McCourty acknowledged even not having QB Tom Brady‘s presence in the locker room will create a leadership void for New England to fill: “Tom doesn’t have to say anything. As soon as he walks in, everyone’s watching the way he works, the way he prepares. So I think not having him will be an adjustment. I think that’s what our league is — change, and how you adapt and are able to move on from it.”
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