AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Bengals

Bills head coach Sean McDermott admitted it’s a “fair question” as to whether Buffalo would have traded Sammy Watkins had they known fellow wide receiver Anquan Boldin would soon retire, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com (multiple links). Although McDermott referred to the two transactions as “separate entities,” Boldin announced his retirement just four days after the Bills shipped Watkins to the Rams for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a second-round selection. Of course, Buffalo also acquired pass-catcher Jordan Matthews on the same day it traded Watkins, and the Bills are “always” examining upgrades at wide receiver, per McDermott.

More from Buffalo and two other AFC cities:

  • The season-ending injury to cornerback Tony Lippett will have consequences for the Dolphins not only for the upcoming season, but for the 2018 campaign, argues Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. Lippett, a collegiate wide receiver, had taken a massive leap as a defensive back in 2016, playing nearly three-quarters of Miami’s defensive snaps. While Lippett’s development may have allowed the Dolphins to release Byron Maxwell next spring (clearing his $10MM cap charge), the club may not have that option given the uncertainty surrounding Lippett’s health.
  • Reporters peppered Bills linebacker Reggie Ragland with questions on Tuesday about whether he’s a trade candidate, according to Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News. As one would expect, Ragland suggested that he’s not worried about rumors and noted that he’s “got to keep getting better,” though it’s nonetheless an open question as to whether he’s a fit in the Bills’ defense. The Bills chose Ragland in the second round of the 2016 draft after a costly trade up, but he missed his rookie season with a torn ACL and is now under the thumb of a new administration in Buffalo. The Doug WhaleyRex Ryan duo responsible for the Ragland pick is gone, as is the Bills’ previous 3-4 scheme. Ragland has languished in a third-team role in Buffalo’s 4-3 alignment this preseason under Ryan’s replacement, McDermott, leading Pro Football Rumors’ Dallas Robinson to observe last week that the ex-Alabama star could be in another uniform soon.
  • Bengals cornerback Adam Jonesone-game suspension is now official, ESPN’s Field Yates tweets. The 33-year-old’s ban, which the league handed down in July, came after he was charged with three misdemeanors and a felony stemming from a January arrest. Jones was able to avoid jail time and a lengthy suspension after pleading guilty to a lesser offense. He’ll miss the Bengals’ season opener against AFC North rival Baltimore.

Dallas Robinson and Connor Byrne contributed to this post.

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