AFC Notes: Dalvin Cook, DeAndre Hopkins, Ed Oliver, Bills, Dolphins, Patriots


Bills GM Brandon Beane fielded questions about the team bringing in veteran pass rusher Leonard Floyd and says the team wanted to add another player who is capable of bringing them nine sacks in a season. 

“We always believe in trying to be strong up front,” Beane said on The Pat McAfee Show. “We really tried to solidify our O-line and then now this just gives us another body, another pass rusher. Protect your quarterback and get after the other team’s quarterback. We faced Leonard with the Rams this year and he’s a player over the last three years who has had close to 30 sacks. He’s been right around that 9.5-10 and just another guy we can add up and add along with that.”

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says the Bills elected to extend DT Ed Oliver because a pass-rushing defensive tackle has a higher positional value to them than some of the other options they could have spent money on. 
  • He adds the Bills noticed their pass rush performs significantly better when Oliver is on the field. While he’s not racking up huge sack numbers himself, the team believes he’s setting things up well for his teammates. 
  • Breer points out that the deal actually lowers Oliver’s cap hit in 2023 and gives Buffalo some more cap space to work with. However, he reiterates his sense is former Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins would have to drop his asking price significantly to end up in Buffalo. 
  • According to Pro Football Talk, Oliver’s four-year, $68 million extension includes a $14.75 million signing bonus and a new base salary of $2.028 million in 2023, down from the $11.385 million he was due under the fifth-year option. 
  • The base salaries in the new years of the deal from 2024-2027 are $14.75 million, $13.75 million, $14.125 million and $14.4 million. In 2024, $7.75 million of that salary is fully guaranteed and the remaining $7 million is guaranteed for injury until the first day of the 2024 waiver period, around mid-February. There is an option bonus for $12.5 million of that sum for Buffalo to pick up as well to spread out the money. 
  • On the fifth day of the 2024 league year, $8.25 million of Oliver’s 2025 salary becomes fully guaranteed with the remaining $5.5 million vesting to guaranteed on the fifth day of the 2025 league year. There is also a $1.25 million 2025 offseason roster bonus. 
  • From 2024 to 2027, Oliver has annual $500,000 workout bonuses, up to $425,000 annually in per-game roster bonuses and up to $750,000 in annual incentives. In 2023, there are another $500,000 in incentives available. 
  • Bills GM Brandon Beane on Oliver: “I’ve seen growth in Ed more than just on the field. There are more plays out there that Ed can make. We’ve talked to him about that. The more he plays & understanding he has about what teams are trying to do to him, the more productive he’ll be.” (Chris Brown)
  • Beane continued on Oliver: “DT is a premium position in this league. They’re hard to find. We’ve invested in him for 4 years. It’s on him and us to continue to develop him to be one of those top players.” (Brown)


  • Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says the Dolphins are expected to make a contract offer to former Vikings RB Dalvin Cook once he’s formally released by Minnesota. 
  • However, Jackson is doubtful the Dolphins will be the team with the biggest offer on the table, which will impact their chances of landing him. 
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer notes the Dolphins were looking at Cook as a big-play threat for their backfield rotation, so it seems clear that the NFL is moving on from viewing Cook as a three-down workhorse at this point in his career. 
  • ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques reports the Dolphins attempted to trade for former Lions RB D’Andre Swift during the 2023 NFL Draft before he was eventually dealt to the Eagles.
  • Dolphins DC Vic Fangio did not dispute the notion that he might have ended up taking the same job with the Eagles had they not thought they were keeping DC Jonathan Gannon: “That’s possible, but I will neither confirm nor deny that.” (Daniel Oyefusi


When talking about the Patriots being a potential landing spot for free-agent WR DeAndre Hopkins, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said on his podcast that it seems unlikely Hopkins plays for New England given OC Bill O’Brien traded him away from the Texans. 

“New England could be interesting. New England has a need there,” said Schefter. “But what I keep coming back to is that, in Houston, the man that traded DeAndre Hopkins was the then-Texans head coach Bill O’Brien. And who’s the Patriots offensive coordinator now? Bill O’Brien. I don’t think those two individuals, Bill O’Brien and DeAndre Hopkins, particularly cared for one another.”

Schefter reiterates he doesn’t see New England as a “top option” for Hopkins. 

“So now it’s okay? That they’re just going to go back and get back together and be alright working together? I don’t know about that. …I don’t know that New England is going to be atop his list. Now, it may be the one that makes the most financial sense, and if it is, then of course everybody can make it work. But I just don’t think we start out thinking that New England is going to be a top option, though in the end it could end up being the place that he lands.”

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes that although Patriots HC Bill Belichick left the door open to a quarterback competition between Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe, so far at OTAs the team is operating with Jones as the unquestioned starter. 
  • Breer adds he gets the sense O’Brien would be in favor of the team signing Hopkins and wouldn’t be an obstacle to New England’s interest.

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