AFC Notes: Browns, Dolphins, Jets

     

Browns

Browns DE Myles Garrett wanted to make it clear after the loss to the Chiefs in the playoffs Sunday that nobody on defense was intentionally trying to injure QB Patrick Mahomes, who left with a concussion following a hit by LB Mack Wilson. Garrett of course has his own infamous history of crossing the line on the field and Wilson caught flack in training camp for hitting teammate Nick Chubb and giving him a concussion. 

“I want to say that nobody on our team is headhunting, going after guys or trying to hurt a guy, no matter how good he is,” Garrett said via Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan. “We are praying for [Mahomes’] recovery and praying for his success. He has always been a quality guy and the way he does stuff for the community. He is a leader on and off the field that you appreciate seeing, especially from a guy of that caliber and just always trying to be a positive force everywhere he goes.”

  • Browns HC Kevin Stefanski praised the growth of QB Baker Mayfield this year, though he did defer a question on if Mayfield is the official franchise quarterback to GM Andrew Berry: “Baker continued to get better all season. He did the things we asked him to do. He definitely led this football team from day one.” (Aditi Kinkhabwala)
  • Stefanski expects the Browns secondary to get back CB Greedy Williams and S Grant Delpit next season, neither of whom played in 2020. (Nate Ulrich)
  • Browns RB Nick Chubb said he hasn’t had any contract discussions with the team yet and he’s focusing on continuing to work with the hope it will pay off eventually. (Ulrich)

Dolphins

While many pundits around the league are still unsure about Dolphins’ QB Tua Tagovailoa, some around the league are willing to give their opinions on whether or not the team has found their franchise player after just one season.

“Tua, like all rookie skill players, we have to give a grade of incomplete given there was no offseason, no preseason games, coupled with major hip surgery a year and a half ago,” said former Dolphins’ EVP Mike Tannenbaum, via Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. “The only analysis would be a grade of incomplete. When you look at his first nine starts, he compares favorably to the first nine starts of the other AFC East quarterbacks as rookies. I think he can be a winning quarterback. You need to be patient. He needs a strong, stout offensive line much the way Drew Brees had in New Orleans. There’s enough [skill] with Tua. He has the accuracy, anticipation to be a winning quarterback.”

One former general manager who wanted to remain anonymous told Jackson he has no doubt that Tagovailoa can be a serviceable starter but still has his concerns.

“I’m sort of pessimistic about him being a star. He’s a smaller guy that has to win with his feet and his throwing. I don’t see Kyler Murray explosion in running to compensate for his size. He’s no Drew Brees; the accuracy hasn’t carried over from Alabama. When I watched him this year, he was short with some of his throws and late on some of his reads. But we’ll see. You can’t discount what he showed at Alabama. I’d rather have Justin Herbert, but I told you that before the draft.”

  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport says teams have started calling the Texans about QB Deshaun Watson to see if he’s available. Rapoport notes no one inside the Texans organization has said they would trade Watson, nor has Watson requested a trade yet. 
  • However, Rapoport says the Jets, Dolphins and Panthers are teams who would seem to have both the need and draft capital to potentially pull off a deal if Watson becomes available. 

Jets

  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport says teams have started calling the Texans about QB Deshaun Watson to see if he’s available. Rapoport notes no one inside the Texans organization has said they would trade Watson, nor has Watson requested a trade yet. 
  • However, Rapoport says the Jets, Dolphins and Panthers are teams who would seem to have both the need and draft capital to potentially pull off a deal if Watson becomes available. 
  • NFL Media’s Michael Silver reports new Jets HC Robert Saleh will bring 49ers OL coach John Benton with him to New York in the same capacity while adding run game coordinator to his title. 
  • Saleh will also hire former Falcons QB coach Greg Knapp in the same position and Broncos offensive QC coach Rob Calabrese as a pass-game specialist. 
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer mentions former Falcons DC Jeff Ulbrich as someone who could draw interest from the Jets, as he worked with Saleh in Seattle. 
  • Breer also notes that part of Saleh’s interview process with the Jets included a roadmap on how to maintain offensive stability even if OC Mike LaFleur is hired away in a year or two. 
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