AFC Notes: Dolphins, Hoyer, Broncos, Bills

The margin for error for Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin is “quickly approaching zero,” writes Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald. A loss this week to the Bills would make it extremely difficult for Miami to make the playoffs, and the next seven games could determine the fate of several of the club’s coaches and players.

Pointing out that a half-dozen of the Dolphins’ starters are eligible to hit the open market in March, Beasley suggests the team hasn’t made much of an effort to lock up any of these prospective free agents. One reason for that may be that there’s no guarantee the same front office and coaching staff will be in place by March. As Beasley rhetorically asks: “Why green-light a multiyear deal for Charles Clay if you’re not sure whoever’s coaching the Dolphins in 2015 wants Clay on their team?”

Here’s more on the Dolphins, as well as a few other AFC teams:

  • Within the aforementioned piece, Beasley also writes that Philbin won’t necessarily lose his job if the Dolphins miss out on the playoffs. However, the team would probably have to finish with a winning record and show signs of trending upward.
  • The Browns have an opportunity to get a deal done with quarterback Brian Hoyer in the wake of Carson Palmer‘s season-ending ACL injury, argues Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Florio suggests that Hoyer, who had a season-ending ACL injury of his own last year, may be more inclined to secure some guaranteed money after seeing what happened to Palmer, and speculates that perhaps something in the neighborhood of two years and $18MM (fully guaranteed) would work for both sides. That sort of contract may look modest, but I doubt Hoyer will get much more fully guaranteed money than that on a longer-term deal.
  • Joel Corry of touches upon the Browns‘ quarterback situation in his look at several contract predicaments teams will face this offseason. The Broncos‘ franchise tag decision and the Bills‘ defensive line issue are among the other dilemmas he addresses.
  • Jets head coach Rex Ryan expects a strong second half from his team, and knows that without one, he’ll almost certainly be looking for work this winter. “I need every [win] I can get,” Ryan said, according to Danny Knobler of
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