AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Alonso, Jets, Patriots

The Dolphins are hoping to keep linebacker Kiko Alonso for the 2017 season, but are wary that he may receive an “uncomfortably high offer” as a restricted free agent next March, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Because Alonso spent his entire sophomore season on the NFI list, he won’t be eligible for unrestricted free agency until 2018, and Miami could re-sign him via a RFA tender. A first-round tender will likely cost ~$4MM, but that could be a price the Dolphins are willing to pay. In his first season in Miami, Alonso has started all seven games while posting 34 tackles and two fumble recoveries.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • Dion Jordan told Jackson that his second knee procedure was a result of “trying to too hard to come back too soon,” and also admitted that he isn’t sure when he’ll be back on the field (though Jordan does think he can return during the 2016 season). Jordan, who now sits at 275 pounds, is fully committed to playing defensive end for the Dolphins, and realizes that outside linebacker isn’t an option at his current weight. The 26-year-old is on the non-football injury list at the moment, and Miami hasn’t given any hint that Jordan is still in their plans for this season, or beyond.
  • While the Jets have received trade interest in defensive end Sheldon Richardson, as least one source tells Kimberley A. Martin of Newsday that Richardson is unlikely to moved. “He is a two-strike guy, so [the Jets] won’t get what they want,” the source told Martin (referencing Richardson’s suspensions), but did confirm the pass-rusher’s name “is out there.” Richardson himself also commented on the rumors, and didn’t seemed surprised his name was being bandied about. “It’s big business. That’s what it is,” he told Martin. “We’ve got a surplus of defensive linemen that are capable of being starters. And they drafted [Leonard Williams], paid [Muhammad Wilkerson]…So we’ll see.”
  • The Patriots had discussed an A.J. Derby trade with the Broncos before the regular season began, so the two side had a basis on which to build when they ultimately struck a deal to send the tight end to Denver last week, as Mike Reiss of writes. The Broncos had been interested in Derby as far back as the 2015 draft, but New England wasn’t ready to move him earlier this year. The Patriots were able to recoup a fifth-round pick for Derby, which Reiss reports was viewed as a strong return around the league.
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