Over the past week, we’ve asked you which team had the best offseason from the AFC North, NFC West, and AFC West. Today we’ll take a look at the offseasons of teams from another active division, the AFC East.
The Jets started things off by making a bold move to acquire their quarterback of the future when they traded up to get the third overall pick from the Colts. They ended up selecting Sam Darnold, and also signed Teddy Bridgewater to complete their quarterback room that will return only Josh McCown from last year. They released Bryce Petty and traded Christian Hackenberg, giving up on both of their former draft picks. They signed cornerback Trumaine Johnson to a huge contract in free agency, and also picked up kicker Cairo Santos and running back Isaiah Crowell. They cut longtime headache defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson and signed Terrelle Pryor to bolster last year’s woeful receiving corp. They fired offensive coordinator John Morton and replaced him with Jeremy Bates. The Jets shocked everyone last year with how competitive they were able to be, and will look to build on that progress in 2018.
The Bills also had a bold draft strategy. They too traded up for their quarterback of the future, taking Josh Allen with the seventh overall pick. They took linebacker Tremaine Edmunds later in the first to be the quarterback of their defense. They lost guard Richie Incognito to retirement, and were mostly quiet in free agency aside from signing Star Lotulelei to a five-year deal. They did add A.J. McCarron to compete with Allen to be the starting quarterback, and fired offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, replacing him with Brian Daboll. The biggest move they made however, was trading their starting quarterback from the past three seasons, Tyrod Taylor, to the Browns. The Bills ended the longest active playoff drought in major professional sports this past season, and will look to build on that progress with a first-time starter under center in 2018.
The Patriots had a relatively quiet offseason in terms of transactions. They did trade wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Rams for a first round pick, but didn’t make many moves in free agency. The real story of the Patriots’ offseason was all the drama surrounding Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft, and Rob Gronkowski. They took two players from Georgia with their two first round picks, offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn and running back Sony Michel. The Patriots will return mostly the same roster from last year’s AFC-winning team, and will hope Brady can continue to play at an MVP level as he gets another year older.
The Dolphins mostly stayed pat like the Patriots, presumably due to their dire cap situation. After lots of speculation they would look to add a quarterback in the first round to replace Ryan Tannehill, they ultimately selected Minkah Fitzpatrick with the 11th overall pick. Their offseason was mostly defined by the players they got rid of, like Ndamukong Suh, Julius Thomas, Mike Pouncey, and Lawrence Timmons. They did sign receivers Danny Amendola and Albert Wilson, and veteran running back Frank Gore. The Dolphins had a disappointing season last year after Tannehill re-tore his ACL, and the team’s success in 2018 will be nearly entirely dependent on his health.
Which team do you think had the best offseason in the AFC East? Vote in PFR’s poll below and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section!