AFC Notes: Dolphins, Jets, Patriots, Bill Belichick


Under new HC Mike McDaniel with his background from San Francisco, the Dolphins are going to be a run-first offense even though they just dropped a massive investment between picks and cash in WR Tyreek Hill. But even that is with the run game in mind. 

“With the speed they have now, adding Tyreek Hill, they aren’t going to see eight in the box much any more,” an evaluator said via the Athletic’s Mike Sando. “Their offense has a chance to be really explosive, and it’s really going to help Tua (Tagovailoa).”

Other execs also praised the addition of LT Terron Armstead although his injury history presents a bit of a risk.

“Great leader, great guy,” another exec said. “Their locker room is going to be better with him in it, but they have three years of guarantees in the deal. I mean, that’s crazy.”

There are a lot of positive signs but there is also a fair amount of pressure for an organization helmed by an owner in Stephen Ross who is known to like the splash move. A potential Tom Brady/Sean Payton pairup was rumored to be Plan A for Miami this offseason and could still be in play in 2023. 

“If Tom Brady does not redo his contract, it does not take a rocket scientist to know that Brady and Sean are going to be in Miami next year,” another exec said.


  • NFL Media’s Peter Schrager has heard that Oregon DE Kayvon Thibodeaux allayed a lot of concerns that are floating around about him in his in-person meeting with the Jets last week. 
  • DJ Bien-Aime of the NY Daily News writes there are Jets team sources who love Alabama WR Jameson Williams, potentially enough to take him No. 10 overall despite a torn ACL in January. Williams has elite speed and the team wants to keep adding help for QB Zach Wilson.
  • Bien-Aime adds USC WR Drake London is also a receiver the team is considering, as he’d bring a size element the Jets’ receiving corps currently lacks. 


  • ESPN’s Mike Reiss thinks if the Patriots trade back they could look to target Clemson CB Andrew Booth, as their biggest need is at cornerback. 
  • Patriots director of player personnel Matt Groh acknowledged they’re cognizant of all the speed the Dolphins added on offense this offseason and will take steps to match it: “We’ve got to play them twice. Those are two very, very meaningful games. We’ve got to have a way to be able to combat those two players, along with a lot of the other great players that they have and have been able to add.”
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer has a few musings on Patriots HC Bill Belichick, who just turned 70 and is showing no signs of slowing down. 
  • Breer notes that Belichick genuinely loves his job and does have some flexibility with his schedule. His sons are coaches on his staff, so he gets to spend quite a bit of time with them. 
  • As far as career goals, Breer believes Belichick, as an avid love of football history, is well aware that he’s in range of becoming the all-time winningest coach in NFL history. He has 321 wins and sits third behind George Halas (324 wins) and Don Shula (347 wins). 
  • He has also heard for a decade that Belichick wants to prove he can win a Super Bowl without Tom Brady, and also wants to make sure he can hand the team off to a successor in a good place. 
  • Patriots CB Malcolm Butler says he came out of retirement for the love of football and didn’t expect to be back in New England: “I didn’t expect to come back to New England… but one thing I learned was never burn your bridges… I made a good decision by acting like a grown man.” (Mark Daniels)
  • Butler also commented on what happened that led to him being benched in Super Bowl 52: “I ain’t got much to say about that, man. I’m trying to live in the present. You can’t think about the past all the time. I know it’ll always be there, but I haven’t said anything about that to anybody. You’ll have to keep doing your research.” (Zack Cox)

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  1. Once your love fest for Belicheat and the Cheatriots ends, you’ll realize how bad of a coach he really is. You’ll see. It may take a few more years, but you’ll eventually realize that Tom Brady made that team what it was.

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