AFC Notes: Dolphins, Jets, Patriots




Jets’ recently signed DT Sheldon Rankins said he is excited to play in new HC Robert Saleh‘s system after studying how he used the 49ers’ defensive line. 

“I love the way they’re always attacking,” said Rankins, via Brian Costello of the New York Post. “I feel like one of the things that makes me the player I am is my explosion, my get-off, being able to be disruptive. Seeing the way he deployed those guys when they were in San Fran and the type of havoc they caused, I mean truly winning games with their front four, that got me excited. With me feeling healthy again and feeling back to myself, I feel like I can slide right in and do nothing but dominate in that front.”

Rankins said he is fully recovered from his Achilles injury after dealing with the issue in both legs and believes he is capable of playing up to his standard. 

“I’m 100 percent healthy,” Rankins said. “I feel like I’m able to do all the things I was able to do before and more, which is a blessing. At one point through the entire rehabilitation process for both legs there was time when I began to doubt that I would be able to do all of those things again. I can stand here and honestly say I’m good to go, and I feel like I can do any and everything on the field to be successful.”

Jets’ new DE Vinny Curry also said he signed with the organization because he felt they are headed in the right direction under Saleh, comparing to when the Eagles signed former HC Doug Pederson ahead of their Super Bowl LII season. 

“Just to see where they’re trying to take this ship, I just wanted to be aboard,” Curry said. “I just wanted to get on the ship because I’ve seen this ship before when coach [Doug] Pederson took over in Philadelphia. I’ve seen this ship before, and I just wanted to be a part of it. No hesitation at all.”

  • Cecil Lammey reports that the Jets turned down a first-round pick from the 49ers in exchange for Panthers’ QB Sam Darnold. Jets’ GM Joe Douglas was concerned about BYU QB Zach Wilson‘s shoulder and wanted to see him in person at his pro day.


When asked if the Patriots’ unusual spending is an indication of not doing enough last offseason, HC Bill Belichick pointed out that there were “several years” where New England wasn’t active in the free-agent market.

“Well again, the process this offseason was to, as it always is, to try to improve the team and do everything we can to make ourselves as competitive as we can this year, which is what we try to do every year,” Belichick said, via ProFootballTalk. “We had several years in free agency where we were one of the least cash spending teams in the league and then this year that changed and balanced it off. That’s really what you have in the NFL — teams that don’t spend then spend and teams spend and then there are years when they don’t spend. It averages out over a period of time and that’s part of the averaging process came this year. But ultimately, we’re trying to do what we can to improve the team like we do every year and that’s what we’re going to continue to do as we work through the draft process and other team-building opportunities that may or may not come along during the season but I’m sure there will be others somewhere along the line. We will evaluate those when they present themselves.”

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