AFC Notes: Bills, Xavien Howard, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots


  • Bills GM Brandon Beane praised the team’s tight ends so far this offseason but added that they will “upgrade” any position needed: “Our tight ends had a really good offseason. We have guys were excited about. But any position we can upgrade we’ll do it if there’s an opportunity.” (Chris Brown)
  • Regarding Bills QB Josh Allen‘s looming contract extension, Beane said both parties would be “fine” if a deal isn’t finalized this year, and that it is a matter of “when” instead of “if”. (Marcel Louis-Jacques)
  • Beane said the Bills have over 80 percent of its players with at least one vaccination. (Matthew Fairburn)
  • Beane mentioned that Bills OT Dion Dawkins and G Ike Boettger both landed on the COVID-19 list after being vaccinated. (Chris Brown)
  • As for Bills RB Zack Moss (ankle) and G Cody Ford (knee), HC Sean McDermott said it would be “irresponsible” to rush either back, but both players have been cleared to practice.  (Joe Buscaglia)
  • McDermott on Cole Beasley: “People are passionate about a lot of things these days — and I respect that.” (Marcel Louis-Jacques)
  • Allen insisted that players who are avoiding the COVID-19 vaccine will not become a distraction: “Nobody looks at the guys who aren’t getting (the vaccine) as distractions or not wanting to help the team.” (Marcel Louis-Jacques)
  • When speaking of his looming contract negotiations, Allen said it is currently the “least of my concerns”: “It’s the least of my concerns. I’m here to win a Super Bowl.” (Sal Capaccio)
  • Allen called Bills OC Brian Daboll the best coordinator in the league given their players’ flexibility in his system: “Brian Daboll is probably the best in the league in putting his guys in the best position to succeed at what they do best. Guys have the flexibility to be themselves in this system and he’s constantly diversifying this offense.” (Chris Brown)


Regarding Dolphins CB Xavien Howard officially demanding a trade on Tuesday, HC Brian Flores said they intend on continuing discussions with Howard and his representation. 

“I guess the plan is to continue to have discussions on our part, continue to have talks with him and his representation,” Flores said. “We love X. He’s a good player. He’s competitive. He’s here. He’s showing up.”

Flores acknowledged that they understand Howard’s issues but expect the cornerback to continue contributing in training camp.

“We expect him to contribute the same way he has. He was out there [on Tuesday], passed his conditioning test. He’s in good shape. We’ll understand his concerns, and we’ll just try to work through this as best we can.”

Flores mentioned that he spoke with Howard following his trade request and will keep those conversations private. 

“Look, X is a great player, good teammate. His teammates love playing with him. I love coaching him. Obviously, we’ve had discussions with him, his representation. I talked to him yesterday. I’ll keep all those conversations between us, including his contract situation.”

When asked if there’s any possibility for Howard to stay in Miami, Flores responded that “there’s a way” and is committed to continuing dialogue with the cornerback. 

“There’s a way,” Flores said. “I think we just continue to have discussions with him, his representation, and keep the lines of communication open, continue having dialogue and, hopefully, work something out. At the same time, we’ve got 90, 89 other guys that we’ll be working with, to include X.”

  • Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald notes the Dolphins have told Howard privately they aren’t going to trade him, though they also said the same thing before dealing LT Laremy Tunsil
  • Dolphins OL Michael Deiter is firmly in the mix to start at center and was taking first-team reps ahead of Matt Skura to start training camp: “I can’t sit here and say I was with the ones today and I’m the starter. It was good to get back out and be taking a lot of snaps. But it’s not redemption. At the end of the year, maybe it will be redemption. Hopefully I can be a good center for the Miami Dolphins.” (Barry Jackson)
  • Dolphins WR Albert Wilson wasn’t quite fully recovered from a hip injury in 2019 but he says he’s feeling back to normal after taking the 2020 season off: “Like night and day. I’m completely healthy. I feel like I can do anything. I’m back to normal.”
  • Dolphins LB Benardrick McKinney, who had three years and $27.5 million remaining on his contract, restructured to a one-year deal with a base salary of $3 million and a $200,000 playing time incentive. (Field Yates)



  • According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the Patriots hosted free-agent OT Jerald Hawkins for a workout on Tuesday. 
  • Patriots QB Cam Newton mentioned that he does not intend on playing like a “battering ram” on run plays like earlier in his career: “You won’t see me being a battering ram like I once was.” (Michael Giardi)

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