AFC Notes: Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Dolphins

  • The Dolphins have six starting-level offensive linemen and just five spots, which is a good problem to have but presents a situation to navigate, including what to do with veteran OL Jesse Davis who would prefer to start but is open to what the coaching staff wants: “Obviously I want to be here. I want to be starting. I am figuring out my role as well.” (Barry Jackson)
  • In addition to Davis, who can play either guard or tackle, the Dolphins have C Ted Karras, G Ereck Flowers and rookie LT Austin Jackson, OL Robert Hunt and G Solomon Kindley. Miami has done a ton of shifting with the group, including this past week when HC Brian Flores says they elected to move Kindley, previously a starter, into a rotation: “What happened last week or six weeks ago doesn’t matter.” (Armando Salguero)

Jets

  • SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano writes a lot of people in NFL circles have highlighted the Jets as a potential destination for Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster this offseason. Smith-Schuster is in the final year of his contract and Pittsburgh has a tight salary situation plus a history of letting receivers leave. There’s also a feeling Smith-Schuster would welcome the spotlight in New York’s high-profile media market. 
  • Other potential free-agent options for the Jets to address their receiver deficiency include Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin, Lions WR Kenny Golladay, Bears WR Allen Robinson, Bengals WR A.J. Green or Colts WR T.Y. Hilton.
  • NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero mentions Iowa State HC Matt Campbell declined a formal interview for the Jets’ head coaching job two years ago but he should draw interest from the NFL again. 
  • According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the Ravens and Texans also put in a waiver claim for CB Corey Ballentine, but the Jets had higher priority. 
  • Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated could see the Jets getting a lot of trade interest in QB Sam Darnold, given he’s entering the fourth year of his rookie contract and has a fifth-year option remaining. 
  • Breer lists the Steelers, Colts, Bears, Broncos, and 49ers as possible trade suitors for Darnold.  
  • Although Breer believes that the Jets like Darnold as their quarterback, he doesn’t think New York would pass on Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence if he’s available to them in the 2021 NFL Draft. 

Patriots

  • Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated believes Patriots HC Bill Belichick still “has a few years left” in regards to his coaching career. 
  • Breer could see Belichick stepping into a role with the Patriots similar to former NFL HC Bill Parcells had with the Dolphins from 2008-2010, where Belichick would “set the agenda” and hire people he trusts to run the organization. 
  • When looking ahead to the Patriots’ potential market at quarterback over the offseason, Breer writes that Cam Newton is a candidate to return while Philip Rivers, Andy Dalton, and Jameis Winston are free agents to at least keep an eye on. 
  • Breer also writes that Bears’ impending free-agent QB Mitch Trubisky could be a “reclamation project” for the Patriots and Colts QB Jacoby Brissett being another option. 
  • NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero expects Patriots ILB coach Jerod Mayo to still draw head coaching interest this year after being on his list of young, up-and-coming coaches who could get interest for a head coaching job last offseason. 
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