AFC Notes: Dolphins, Dalton, Mack, Spikes

If the Eagles trade two-time Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis prior to the season, it likely won’t be to the Dolphins – who have been a rumored candidate to land the 34-year-old – according to Drew Rosenhaus, Mathis’ agent. “We thought we had a trade with another team leading up to the draft. It was not the Dolphins,” Rosenhaus told the Joe Rose Show, according to Marc Sessler of “We’ve never really gotten close on a trade with the Dolphins.”

Here’s more on some other AFC clubs:

  • Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has become a much-maligned figure during his four years in Cincinnati, but Coley Harvey of doesn’t expect him to be in another uniform in the near future. Harvey notes that releasing Dalton doesn’t become particularly favorable for the Bengals until after 2018, when the six-year, $115MM extension he signed last year won’t have any dead money left on it. Even if Dalton struggles before then, the likelihood of the team cutting the cord is low because finding a replacement would be difficult and entering a rebuild isn’t on the horizon for Cincy.
  • Browns center Alex Mack‘s contract has him in a unique situation, writes Tom Reed of The 29-year-old has both an opt-out clause in his contract, which he can take advantage of next offseason, and one that prevents the Browns from placing either the franchise or transition tag on him. Mack is mum about his future for the time being, saying that he’ll “talk about that at the end of the season,” but it might be difficult for the Browns to retain him if they don’t turn it around on the field. Since drafting Mack in 2009, the team hasn’t sniffed the playoffs. “I think I definitely want to win games,” Mack said. “It’s very important to me.”
  • Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes left the team in acrimonious fashion last offseason and then signed a one-year contract with AFC East rival Buffalo. Back in New England after inking another one-year deal earlier this month, Spikes says he and head coach Bill Belichick are ready to put past drama behind them. “I think we’re both happy that I’m here and we were able to put things aside and let bygones be bygones,” Spikes said, according to Phil Perry of “We’re all moving forward. The 2015 season is right around the corner and we’re just trying, each and every day, to get better. I’m happy to be home.”
  • The Ravens parted with longtime defensive staple Haloti Ngata earlier this offseason, trading him to Detroit, and it’s going to take a team effort (led by Timmy Jernigan and Brandon Williams) to replace the five-time Pro Bowl nose tackle, writes Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. For his part, Williams is confident the Ravens won’t be adversely affected by the loss of Ngata. “It tells me I just have to step up,” said Williams. “We have to do more. I accept the challenge, willingly, to get out there and do everything I have to do to be my best player, be my best self. And that goes for everybody else on the defensive line. We don’t need anybody to be Haloti. We just need everybody to be their best selves, and we’ll be fine.”
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