Second-year wide receiver Aaron Dobson has suited up just once for the Patriots this season and reports indicated that his benching stemmed from a run-in with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. When asked today if the decision to bench Dobson was football or disciplinary, coach Bill Belichick said it was the former, tweets Albert Breer of the NFL Network. When asked specifically if there was a confrontation between McDaniels and Dobson (link) he said, “No, and I’ll have a comment on that later.” Breer actually believes that the relationship between McDaniels and Dobson has been generally good for the last two years (link), so it’ll be interesting to find out what actually happened in New England. More out of the AFC East..
- The Jets have the second-largest salary-cap surplus in the league at $24.3MM and the lowest total cash spending at $95.14MM, curious numbers given all their personnel needs this offseason, writes Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Their lack of spending has left them embarrassingly thin in the secondary, but owner Woody Johnson claims that he doesn’t regret the team’s lowball offer to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie that led him to the Meadowlands’ other team.
- Johnson’s frugal approach can work, but only if Jets GM John Idzik delivers, writes Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com. Cimini points out that the slow and steady approach isn’t Johnson’s but rather Idzik’s. After former GM Mike Tannenbaum spent big and didn’t give Johnson a return on his investment, Idzik pitched himself to Johnson as someone who has the opposite philosophy.
- Rex Ryan could conceivably miss the playoffs for a fourth straight season and still keep his job, writes Seth Walder of the New York Daily News. “We don’t look at it that way,” Johnson said of whether the Jets had to make the postseason in order for the outspoken coach to stay on board.
- New Dolphins offensive coordinator Bill Lazor was brought to Miami primarily to fix the passing game but, somewhat surprisingly, it’s the rushing attack that has improved, writes ESPN.com’s James Walker. Miami is currently ranked sixth in the NFL in rushing at 142.3 yards per game.