AFC Notes: Dolphins, Jets, Patriots


  • Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes that the situation with the Dolphins and CB Xavien Howard is currently headed toward Howard holding out and either requesting a trade or Miami making him available, unless the Dolphins relent and give Howard a raise or his camp walks back its demands. 
  • Salguero notes Howard is not enthused about making less than fellow Dolphins CB Byron Jones despite being far more productive from an interceptions standpoint. 
  • According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins plan to move G Solomon Kindley over to the left side, where he will compete with Jesse Davis to start. 
  • That frees up Robert Hunt to move from right tackle to right guard, per Jackson. D.J. Fluker could factor into the competition at left guard as well, while second-round OT Liam Eichenberg and new addition Jermaine Eluemunor will compete to start at right tackle. 
  • Jackson adds 2020 first-round CB Noah Igbinoghene was getting work in the slot as well as the boundary during OTAs and is an option at either position. 
  • Over The Cap has full contract details for Dolphins LB Jerome Baker‘s three-year, $37.5 million extension. Baker received a $5.5 million signing bonus, base salaries of $6.58 million, $8.41 million and $10.768 million, and a $7 million roster bonus in 2022.
  • Baker’s 2022 base salary is guaranteed and he has annual $25,000 workout bonuses, plus $340,000 total in per-game active roster bonuses in 2023 and 2024. 
  • Dolphins HC Brian Flores said they tested a lot of concepts with QB Tua Tagovailoa on the opening day of mandatory minicamp: “Practice is a time where you test the waters and see what works and what doesn’t work so you can go back to make adjustments.” (Cameron Wolfe)
  • Flores added that they are asking Tagovailoa to push the ball downfield and “continue being aggressive” regardless of results: “I don’t think Tua’s going into a shell. I tell him to continue being aggressive. Use this time to practice pushing the ball down the field then we’ll make the adjustments.” (Wolfe)
  • Dolphins DE Emmanuel Ogbah did not participate in Wednesday’s minicamp due to a minor injury. (Salguero)
  • Dolphins WR Albert Wilson said he is looking forward to playing alongside rookie WR Jaylen Waddle: “Man, I’m excited to see the kid go to work. Like you said, I see myself in him; so anything I can do to help him get going right now, I’m here for him…” (Michael Giardi)
  • The Dolphins are among teams that have crossed a threshold of 85 percent for player vaccinations. (Albert Breer)
  • Breer points out that the NFL has previously discussed relaxed protocols for teams over the 85 percent threshold.


  • Jets HC Robert Saleh said he wants to evaluate his younger cornerbacks on the roster before potentially looking at the veteran free-agent market: “Unless you’re willing to give them the opportunity to be seen, you never know what you might find.” (Ralph Vacchiano)
  • Saleh reiterated that he won’t shy away from playing younger guys on the roster: “You can’t be afraid to play young guys. They’re hell on wheels, but they’re fun to watch.” (Ralph Vacchiano)
  • Saleh added that he’s not concerned with growing pains from the Jets’ rookies and younger players: “You can’t be afraid to go through those bumps. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. It might be a freight train or it might be an actual light, but we’re going through that tunnel.” (Ralph Vacchiano)
  • Jets’ owner Woody Johnson called first-round QB Zach Wilson a talented player and believes the quarterback “looks as advertised”: “He’s a talent, for sure. I know he’s a hard worker. He’s obsessive about tape. … He looks as advertised.” (Ralph Vacchiano)


Patriots TE Jonnu Smith has already started to earn the respect of his teammates after signing with the Patriots this offseason, writes Zack Cox of NESN.

Veteran S Adrian Phillips raved about his route running and mismatch potential after Monday’s practice.

He was a beast, and he still is a beast,” Phillips said. “That’s what I got from that. When you watched him play (with) the Titans, you see a guy who can literally run everything. His route tree is wide-open. And then he gets here and you see that firsthand in practice, it’s just crazy. He moves like a receiver, but he’s big, he’s fast and it’s a real matchup problem.

Smith did not finish the minicamp practice after suffering an apparent hamstring injury.

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