East Notes: Rice, Cassel, Giants

The Bills signed Nickell Robey to an extension this morning and may now direct their attention to a long-term deal with Marcell Dareus, but one transaction that the team is not contemplating is a reunion between head coach Rex Ryan and embattled running back Ray Rice. Per Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, Ryan reiterated, “We don’t have any interest [in Rice] and we never went into great detail about it because of the type of depth that we have at running back.” Those comments were made despite a recent hamstring injury to Fred Jackson and Bryce Brown‘s continued fumbling woes.

Now let’s have a look at some more notes from the league’s east divisions:

  • Although the Bills‘ quarterback competition is far from over, The Associated Press reports that Matt Cassel will “probably” start the team’s first preseason game against Carolina this week. All three competitors–Cassel, E.J. Manuel, and Tyrod Taylor–have had mixed results in camp, and no one has separated themselves from the pack as of yet. We heard just last month that Cassel was in danger of being released, and while that may still be the case, he will at least have the first chance to lead Buffalo’s offense in game action in 2015.
  • The top of the Jets‘ depth chart at wide receiver has remained intact, but as Brian Costello of The New York Post writes, recent injuries to players like Chris Owusu, DeVier Posey, and Devin Smith have really tested the team’s depth. Of course, there is not much by way of free agent talent available at this point, though Reggie Wayne and Wes Welker are both ostensibly looking for jobs.
  • In his latest mailbag, ESPN’s Dan Graziano writes that Bennett Jackson, the Giants‘ sixth-round pick in the 2014 draft, has enjoyed a terrific camp thus far, and he has put himself in position to not only make the 53-man roster, but to earn one of the starting safety spots.
  • In the same piece, Graziano writes that Marshall Newhouse, whom the Giants originally signed to be a backup, is New York’s undisputed starting right tackle at the moment.
  • Hank Kurz, Jr. of The Associated Press writes that Jamison Crowder, Washington‘s diminutive rookie receiver, is making a splash in training camp, but John Keim of ESPN.com says Crowder has not yet passed Andre Roberts and Ryan Grant on the team’s depth chart. Keim does concede, though, that Crowder has been outperforming Roberts and Grant and it could be a matter of time before he seizes hold of Washington’s No. 3 receiver job.
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