AFC Notes: Dolphins, Jets, Patriots



Former NFL C Ryan Kalil, who signed with the Jets for the 2019 season, believes Sam Darnold‘s struggles had more to do with former HC Adam Gase‘s system than the quarterback’s talent. 

“It was a system that didn’t allow a lot of individual freedom. It was very, ‘You do it this way and that’s it,’” Kalil said, via Joseph Person of The Athletic. “A lot of the scheme was pre-determined (plays) based on what they thought they were seeing from the sideline. It didn’t give Sam a lot of room to grow, in my opinion, to make decisions on the fly. It worked in some instances, but it handicapped him in the long run.”

Kalil explained that Gase’s offense prevented Darnold from making his own decisions.

“It wasn’t a system that allowed him to evolve and make decisions on his own. I think that was the hardest thing. And I think that’s why ultimately the Jets made some (coaching) changes, too.”

As for the Jets’ interest in BYU QB Zach Wilson, Kalil feels that Darnold has proven to have similar attributes to New York’s next potential quarterback.

“Everybody ooh’d and ahh’d about (Wilson) at BYU’s pro day when he rolled out left and threw across to the right,” Kalil said. “And it’s like, I’ve seen Sam do that a million times. It’s funny, there’s game tape of Sam doing that exact thing.”


  • Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that Patriots’ CB J.C. Jackson’s camp contacted every team in the league to get an offer sheet and not a single franchise would. It has been ten years, and no team has signed another player to an offer sheet.
  • According to Florio, Jackson would have seriously considered any offer that exceeded his one-year, $3.384 million tender in New England. However, teams still didn’t want to give up a second-round pick in 2021, even for a player like Jackson. This could be due to the fact that teams are unwilling to sign other team’s players to offer sheets.
  • Doug Kyed of writes that the Patriots already have three slot receivers on their roster in Nelson Agholor, Jakobi Meyers, and Kendrick Bourne. He adds that Meyers was able to nicely fill the role of retiring WR Julian Edelman in 2020.
  • Some of the top receiver options for the Patriots in the draft include Alabama’s DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle, Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman, Florida’s Kadarius Toney, BYU’s Dax Milne, and Western Michigan’s D’Wayne Eskridge. Toney is one player from the group with off-field concerns that may see teams pass him over, according to Kyed.
  • Kyed adds that players like Mississippi’s Elijah Moore and Purdue’s Rondale Moore are more exclusively slot options, and could be passed over by the Patriots.
  • Kyed also says that while he wasn’t the most popular amongst the Patriots’ signings, it could be Agholor who ends up having the most impact.
  • When it comes to New England possible trading up into the end of the first round or slightly after, Kyed thinks it could be due to the team going after a player like Elijah Moore, Bateman, Oklahoma State T Teven Jenkins, Iowa DT Daviyon Nixon, or Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond.
  • With the signings of TE Hunter Henry and TE Jonnu Smith, Kyed thinks this could mean that tight ends Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene are not guaranteed roster spots in 2021.

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