AFC East Notes: Brady, Dareus, Bills

If Tom Brady is exonerated in the DeflateGate case by the NFL or the outside legal system, could the Patriots quarterback could get some payback against the league in the form of a defamation suit? Christopher Price of explores the issue, noting that legal analyst Michael McCann recently indicated it would be a tough suit to win.

“Brady would need to show that not only were public statements made about him false and damaging to his reputation, but he’d have to show those statements were made with actual malice, which means knowingly or intentionally,” McCann said. “In other words, if the Wells Report contained reputationally-damaging inaccuracies or lies about Brady, that would not be enough for Brady to prevail in a defamation lawsuit.”

Here’s more from around the AFC East:

  • The Bills have said one of their top priorities this year is to lock up Marcell Dareus to a long-term extension, and the defensive tackle sounds like he’d like to stay in Buffalo. Speaking to John Kryk of the Toronto Sun, Dareus praised the work done in recent years by GM Doug Whaley and president Russ Brandon: “We’ve got a better locker room, a better team atmosphere, and the organization is slowly but surely changing altogether. … We’re just enjoying it all.”
  • It would be easy to assume the Bills‘ starting quarterback battle is a two-man race between Matt Cassel and EJ Manuel, the two signal-callers with starting experience. But Rex Ryan‘s fondness for Tyrod Taylor, along with the fact that no one separate himself from the pack during offseason practices, means the former Raven could challenge for the job, writes Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News. The club’s quarterback competition was the subject of one of our Community Tailgate discussions earlier this month.
  • The Jets, Dolphins, and Bills were among the NFL’s most active teams this offseason as they tried to load up to topple the Patriots in the AFC East. However, according to ESPN’s future power rankings, New England is still the team in the best shape for the next three seasons, by a comfortable margin. In the Insider-only feature, the Pats placed third among NFL teams, while the Jets, Dolphins, and Bills rank 21st, 23rd, and 26th, respectively.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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