Here’s a look at the AFC East as the Bills and Jets get set to square off tonight:
- If the Bills stumble the rest of the way and don’t get into the playoff hunt, Rex Ryan‘s job will still probably be safe. However, GM Doug Whaley could be on the hot seat, as Mike Rodak of ESPN.com writes. Rodak argues that the possibility of hiring a “football czar” such as Bill Polian last offseason suggests that Whaley isn’t considered a central piece in the Bills’ rebuilding process. And, while Whaley has put together a talented team in his two-and-a-half years as general manager, quarterback remains an issue and the jury is still out on whether essentially spending two first-round picks on Sammy Watkins was worthwhile.
- The Patriots didn’t make headlines around the country with their extension of guard Josh Kline, but it was an interesting example of them buying out free agent years as a method of cap management, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap writes. If Kline established himself as a two-year starter, he might have been able to get $3.5-$4MM per year on the open market. Instead, the Pats effectively pre-exercised their restricted free agent rights and in return bought out an additional year of free agency on a discount. On his end, Kline gave up one year of free agency for a lower cost contract plus a $750K guarantee.
- Ryan achieved cult hero status in his early years with the Jets but he ultimately failed them, Gary Myers of the Daily News opines. Myers also spoke with Darrelle Revis, who said that, ultimately, the Jets did not get to where they wanted to go under Ryan.