AFC Notes: Bills, Jets, Patriots, Stephon Gilmore


Bills OC Brian Daboll is excited about what RBs Zack Moss and Devin Singletary can do after a full offseason.

“In terms of what we ask those guys to do, what their approach has been, they’re two good young backs. It’ll be a good competition come training camp,” Daboll said, via Bills Wire.

Singletary added he believes the team can build off the strong season last year.

“I feel like it was decent, of course, I feel like I can do something better, like the team, do something better. That just is what it is,” Singletary said. “We know each other and we can build off of what we did last year. We just keep building that bond and basically the sky is the limit.”


  • ESPN’s Rich Cimini reported the Jets were asking WR Jamison Crowder to take at least a 50 percent pay cut from his slated salary of $10 million in 2021. 
  • Cimini added a pay cut wouldn’t preclude the Jets from trading him, as they’re all of a sudden deep at slot receiver with second-round rookie Elijah Moore, Braxton Berrios and Keelan Cole all capable of playing the position. A pay cut would also make it easier to trade Crowder. 
  • Jets DE Carl Lawson wouldn’t share his exact goals for the 2021 season but gave assurances that they were high: “I feel like the sky’s the limit, but this is life. Not every goal you set is going to happen because there are external factors, but I will do everything in my power to reach my highest level of potential and what I think I can possibly be, which is otherworldly.”
  • According to ESPN’s Kimberley Martin, the Jets haven’t signed a veteran backup quarterback yet because they feel like it would only be for optics and they can sign one later in the offseason.


  • According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Patriots QB Cam Newton has a good chance of returning to the field for minicamp from his minor hand injury, which sidelined him for a couple of OTAs last week. 
  • Jim McBride of the Boston Globe reports Newton will get the full starter’s workload this week.
  • Patriots HC Bill Belichick confirmed Newton participated in practice last Friday and will be on the field this week as well. (Reiss)
  • Patriots first-round QB Mac Jones took just eight of 34 competitive 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 reps on Thursday, which Reiss contrasts with the Packers’ approach with QB Jordan Love (26 of 31 11-on-11 reps). Reiss stresses any true competition won’t come until training camp, as the Patriots use OTAs for teaching primarily. 
  • Reiss notes Patriots free-agent addition DB Jalen Mills has worked at both safety and corner during OTAs. 
  • With plenty of reinforcements coming in this offseason, Patriots OLB Chase Winovich has seen a notably reduced role, per Reiss. 
  • Reiss has been impressed with 2020 third-round TE Devin Asiasi and thinks he could make three tight end sets a viable grouping for the Patriots this season. 
  • Reiss thinks DT Montravius Adams, signed away from the Packers during free agency, is a sleeper to watch for a big role, as he was playing with the first team at times in OTAs. He struggled with a toe injury last year: “Since I’ve been here, they’ve helped me with the injury. My toe is starting to get a lot better.”
  • Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald writes former first-round WR N’Keal Harry is no better than the fourth receiver right now for the Patriots and he lost ground to former UDFA Isaiah Zuber during OTAs. He’s firmly on the roster bubble ahead of training camp. 
  • Callahan also notes the Patriots’ second-round pick after Harry, DB Joejuan Williams, is also on the bubble, as Mills can fill the same safety/corner role and is proven in it. 
  • Belichick mentioned he is happy to have LB Dont’a Hightower back after he opted out last year: “He’s worked right in very quickly. Obviously a smart player with a lot of experience. A lot of leadership for us on the team. But again, we’re not really in an evaluation mode; we’ll see how that goes for everybody when we get to that point.” (Reiss)
  • Regarding Jones, Belichick said he is willing to move slowly with his development: “I think the best thing you can do is build a solid foundation… If the foundation is solid, then you can build off it. If it’s not, then the player really doesn’t have a lot to fall back on and there’s nothing to anchor into so we try not to do that.” (Phil Perry)
  • Jones took second-team reps after Newton on Monday. (Doug Kyed)
  • Patriots QB Brian Hoyer said he wants to be a mentor for the young quarterbacks: “To impart that knowledge is obviously a big part of my role here.” (Kyed)
  • Hoyer also praised Jones: “He’s a smart kid. He asks a lot of questions. You can see he’s eager to work.” (Karen Guregian)
  • Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham said he wants to be the starting quarterback long-term: “My goal is to be the quarterback here and to start football games for a really long time in this league.” (Kyed)
  • Even though he didn’t play much last year, Stidham just wants to focus on getting better: “I just control what I can control. I come in every day, prepare and work…” (Michael Giardi)

Stephon Gilmore

  • Per Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, the Patriots and CB Stephon Gilmore are currently having a hard time finding a compromise on a new deal. 
  • Breer points out the best comparison is Eagles CB Darius Slay, who signed a three-year, $50.05 million extension after being traded to Philadelphia last year. That might be more than what New England wants to commit to Gilmore, however. 
  • According to the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin, if Gilmore doesn’t attend minicamp, the Patriots can choose to fine him $93,085. However, Gilmore wasn’t worried about his contract and wanted to stay in New England the last time Volin talked to him: “That stuff will play out as it will.”

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