The New England Patriots have ruled the entire division for what seems like centuries. New England has been to the AFC Title Game for the last seven years. That’s called excellence, folks. The Bills, Jets, and Dolphins are the others that need to get back to contention. With the Patriots dynasty dying at a rapid pace, the others in the AFC East have the chance to strike back.
Football can’t come back fast enough but the offseason is always entertaining. Championships are won in the offseason. With the NFL Scouting Combine and free agency rapidly approaching, what can we expect from the AFC East this offseason?
Free Agents: Kyle Williams, Jordan Matthews, Shareece Wright, Mike Tolbert, Ramon Humber, Joe Webb, Preston Brown, E.J. Gaines, Travaris Cadet, Seantrel Henderson, Cedric Thornton, Shamarko Thomas
The Bills have $28 million in space but that number could inch close to $40 million if the team decides to part with Tyrod Taylor. Buffalo has really done a nice job picking up tons of draft selections in trades this past year. Sammy Watkins netted a 2nd rounder. Ronald Darby the same. How about snagging a first-round pick from the Chiefs in a trade down while landing Tre’Davious White! The Bills front office has done a great job rebuilding the team which is why they made the playoffs.
Finding a long-term quarterback has to be the plan now. That part can come in the draft. As for the impending free agents, if they want to bring some of them back, they have enough cash to do so.
Free Agents: Jay Cutler, William Hayes, Koa Misi, Jermon Bushrod, Nate Allen, Anthony Fasano, Michael Thomas, Damien Williams, Matt Moore, Jarvis Landry, Cody Parkey, Lamin Barrow, Terrence Fede
This roster flat out stinks. The worst part is they have no cash to spend. With just a smidge over $5 million in the bank, Miami can’t even participate out on the market. It would be hard for me to not move Ryan Tannehill at this point. He would open up $15 million more in room. Let’s face it, Tannehill can’t win a Super Bowl so it’s time to move on. However, the Dolphins obviously aren’t going to do that so cutting a Julius Thomas would give Miami about $10 million in room. Trading Ndamukong Suh also makes sense but he would leave a ton of dead cap behind that barely makes it worth the Dolphins effort.
Jarvis Landry simply cannot be brought back. The Phins contract books are a total dumpster fire. Kenny Stills makes close to $10 million per year! Andre Branch, who, yes, Andre Branch makes even more. Miami needs to just start their rebuild.
*Update: Miami placed the franchise tag on Jarvis Landry!
New England Patriots:
Free Agents: Nate Solder, Malcolm Butler, Rex Burkhead, Johnson Bademosi, Matthew Slater, Cameron Fleming, Danny Amendola, Dion Lewis, Nate Ebner, LaAdrian Waddle, James Harrison, Ricky Jean-Francios, Brandon Bolden, Geneo Grissom, Marquis Flowers
Bad news, the Patriots only have $11 million in cap space. The good news is the Patriots have a lot of junk on their roster. Yes, it’s a fact that Bill Belichick hasn’t been a very good general manager recently. Well, I guess that’s not really good news. Releasing Martellus Bennett, Dwayne Allen, Alan Branch, Shae McClellin, Phillip Dorsett, David Harris, Will Tye, Jordan Richards and Kenny Britt free up over $25 million in space. Don’t dispute it, there’s a whole lot of junk on this Patriots roster.
I anticipate the Pats to be busy because they know Tom Brady is on his last leg. Belichick also likes to steal guys from the division. Don’t be shocked if Landry winds up in New England. He would be a perfect slot receiver for them. It’s going to be interesting to see how many impending free agents the Pats try to bring back. There’s a ton of them.
New York Jets:
Free Agents: Josh McCown, Morris Claiborne, Demario Davis, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Mike Pennel, Chandler Catanzaro
The Jets can go big game hunting with $76 million in cap space. They can free up another $11 million by getting rid of Mo Wilkerson. Leonard Williams and Jamal Adams are really the only building blocks the team has. There are a million different scenarios for the Jets. If one thing is clear, they can’t have Josh McCown start the whole season again.