AFC East Notes: Jets, Bell, Patriots, Dolphins

The Jets missed on many of their top targets this year, but they did manage some upgrades to the offensive line. Coming off of his worst season ever, Le’Veon Bell is excited about having improved protection up front. “Can’t wait,” Bell told ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler with Bart Scott-esque enthusiasm.

The Jets’ new-look offensive line will feature first-round pick Mekhi Becton and newcomers Connor McGovern, Greg Van Roten, and George Fant. Between the three free agent deals and the re-signing of Alex Lewis, the Jets dropped $80MM to fortify their O-Line. They also bypassed this year’s top wide receivers to select Becton, a nightmare for defenders and pickup trucks alike. The Jets hope this will all result in a more reliable pocket for Sam Darnold and larger holes for Bell to run through. In 2019, Bell averaged just 3.2 yards per carry and didn’t get much yardage off of his 66 catches.

Here’s more out of the AFC East:

  • Joe Flacco‘s one-year, $1.5MM Jets deal includes $550K guaranteed, as Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The full breakdown gives the quarterback $1.05MM in base pay, a total of $450K in per-game active roster bonuses, and the opportunity to earn another $3MM through incentives. The Jets have been encouraged by Flacco’s progress as he works his way back from neck surgery, though the QB admits that he won’t be ready for the season opener. If Flacco’s recovery stalls, they’ll be able to escape the deal fairly easily.
  • The Dolphins are nowhere near ready to give up on quarterback Josh Rosen, according to a source who spoke with Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Rosen was a disappointment in his six appearances (three starts) last year, but the ‘Fins source says he showed some promise in practice towards the end of the year. Another factor: The Dolphins probably don’t want to trade Rosen for pennies on the dollar one year after coughing up a second-round pick for him.
  • Will Hastings‘ relationship with quarterback Jarrett Stidham could help his chances of making the Patriots‘ roster as their slot receiver. Still, the Pats have other options to consider alongside the UDFA out of Auburn, as Doug Kyed of NESN writes. They could change their slot philosophy entirely, utilizing a bigger WR like Jakobi Meyers or Mohamed Sanu on the inside. They could also lean more on two-tight end sets with rookies Dalton Keene and Devin Asiasi in the fold, sacrificing speed for better blocking.
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10 comments on “AFC East Notes: Jets, Bell, Patriots, Dolphins

  1. myaccount

    $80M in non-guaranteed dollars. They have an easy out on Fant after one season and $9M (the other portion of guaranteed money comes on the 5th league day of 2021), while Lewis is guaranteed just $6M of the $18.3M he signed for.

    • Just for informational purposes:

      McGovern – 3 years, $27 million ($18 million guaranteed)
      Van Roten – 3 years, $10.5 million ($3.25 million guaranteed)
      Fant – 3 years, $30 million ($13.7 million guaranteed)
      Lewis – 3 years, $18.6 million ($5.6 million guaranteed)
      Becton – 4 years, $18.4 million

      • myaccount

        Exactly. That’s a lot of non-guaranteed cash. Can still have $80+M come FA next season. Great signings by Douglas, particularly Lewis and Van Roten.

  2. phenomenalajs

    I know teams are allowed 3 DTRs per season on the IR now, but is it still required to be out a minimum of 8 games? If there’s a way to reduce that since Flacco won’t be cleared for contact until September, it would be worth it to save the roster spot until he’s ready to be active.

    • frank858

      When put on IR, the player has to wait 8 games not 8 weeks. It was changed because of the bye week.

      • phenomenalajs

        They may decide to carry 4 QBs on the roster, then, until Flacco is cleared to go. I believe the roster is being increased to 55 this year. Morgan will be QB3. I don’t see him being the primary backup before Flacco is ready. Fales will battle White in training camp to be QB2 until Flacco’s ready. I think White is still eligible to go on the practice squad. “Epic” Fales is not.

  3. seth3120

    BB is a genius there’s no denying it. The year he traded Collins to the Browns while looking like super bowl favorites turned out to be one of the smartest and gutsiest trades ever. 99.9% of gms hold on to everything they have for that sb push. He got future value from him and still won the Super Bowl. I’m puzzled here though. They could have filled Bradys shoes with more than Stidham. Not Flacco though I don’t think he’s even a backup in this league anymore. He had his chances and was outshined by Drew Lock after the Broncos went out and traded for Flacco

  4. seth3120

    I just have to believe BB isn’t waiting on a cheap veteran like Newton who wants to at least compete to start being forced to take peanuts to join there qb competition. Between Stidham and Hoyer it might be Hoyer and that’s a Hoyerable situation to in. Dalton would have been my gamble pick and be is Prescott’s backup. This year was historically stacked with veteran qbs and the Pats added Hoyer. I hate the Pats but an upgrade or two on offense with a capable qb that defense could have got them there but now just like last year the negative offensive side will kill that defense.

  5. Katsuro

    I am interested in what rapport Stidham will have with the younger and “newer” receivers. Brady didn’t seem to trust anyone outside of White and Edelman last season and showed big time on the stat line.

    This year is a clean slate, which is both good and bad for us. Hopefully the trust and production will be enough for the offense, as I see the building process akin to the early 2000s: Run and defense first, smart QB play added in.

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