AFC East Links: Patriots, Idzik, Orton

Linebacker Jonathan Casillas was acquired by the Patriots earlier this week, and the 27-year-old is doing everything in his power to play this weekend. It isn’t easy switching teams midseason, and the six-year veteran realizes that he has a lot of catching up to do (via Lee Schechter of

“I feel like I’m cramming for a final in college,” Casillas said. “I’m happy to be here and blessed to have this opportunity to play for a great organization.

“This is my fourth [defensive] coordinator in four years since Gregg [Williams], so five [defensive] coordinators in five years, and that’s the tough part — learning all of these different defensive schemes — not really transitioning city to city because a city is a city. I can get acclimated to my surrounding place. My job learning the Xs and Os about what I’m going to do every day and the verbiage and the communication, that’s the difficult part.”

Casillas was also asked how he felt being traded from the last-place Buccaneers to the place-first Patriots:

“Do I really have to answer that question?”

Let’s check out some more notes from the AFC East…

  • Recently released linebacker Deontae Skinner has cleared waivers and is expected to re-sign with the Patriots, tweets the Boston Globe’s Shalise Manza Young. The rookie was released by New England yesterday following the signing of Alan Branch.
  •’s Mike Reiss reacts to the Patriots handling of the trade deadline, writing that Raiders defensive end Justin Tuck could have helped, but the price was likely too high. Reiss notes that he never bought into the Vincent Jackson/Doug Martin rumors.
  • Jets supporters seemingly haven’t been too thrilled with the work of general manager John Idzik, and some fans have created a website called (via John Healy of the New York Daily News).
  • Mike Rodak of examines the Bills options for handling Kyle Orton‘s contract should the quarterback lead the team to the playoffs. The veteran currently has $5.4MM base salary for next season (with a $7MM cap hit), but he has the opportunity to void his contract immediately following the Super Bowl. If Orton decides to stick around, Rodak believes the team’s two options are to either extend him to a long-term contract or offer him a more lucrative, one-year deal.
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