Brandon Reilly

AFC East Notes: Garcia, Jets, Osweiler, Bills

Last offseason, Patriots third-round offensive lineman Antonio Garcia was expected to play a role for the 2017 squad. A year later, the Troy product is rostered by one of New England’s division rivals, the Jets.

Garcia ended up missing his entire rookie campaign after blood clots were found in his lungs. The Patriots ultimately cut the lineman earlier this offseason, and he quickly caught on with the New York, where he’s been taking backup left tackle snaps during OTAs. The 24-year-old denied reports claiming he had lost nearly 40 pounds, and he didn’t sound particularly surprised by the Patriots’ decision to let him go.

“I just wasn’t cleared medically in New England. So, it is what it is,” Garcia told Manish Mehta of The New York Daily News. “I think they knew I was a good player.”

After learning of his diagnosis shortly before training camp was set to begin, Garcia admitted that the entire ordeal caught him off guard.

“It was definitely unexpected,” Garcia said. “It’s never happened ever in my life. How did I react to it? I was caught off-guard. But I had no choice but to accept it and try to improve every day.”

Let’s take a look at other notes out of the AFC East…

  • As Brock Osweiler competes with David Fales and Bryce Petty to be the Dolphins backup quarterback, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says the veteran needs to improve his accuracy if he has any hope of making the team. However, while Osweiler doesn’t seem to be the favorite for the gig, it sounds like he has the support of the coaching staff. “What Brock has is unbelievable command of the offense,” said offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. “He was in it. He got to learn from the best in the game — No. 18 [Peyton Manning] — and when you watch his huddle etiquette, his line of scrimmage procedure etiquette, he does an outstanding job there.”
  • Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News wonders if wideout Brandon Reilly could end up making the Bills. The former undrafted free agent spent most of the 2017 season on Buffalo’s practice squad, but a shallow receiver depth chart means he could earn a promotion in 2018. Skurski notes that Kelvin Benjamin is really the only wideout with a guaranteed roster spot, although he assumes Zay Jones and Jeremy Kerley will make the team. Otherwise, Reilly could realistically beat out any of the other receivers sitting on the roster.
  • Rumors were flying around Twitter and New England yesterday regarding a potential Rob Gronkowski trade. Those rumblings ultimately proved to be unfounded, with one Patriots reporter saying there was “zero truth” to any of the reports.

Bills Place Matthews, Lawson On IR

The Bills are shutting down two of their starters for the rest of their seasons. Wide receiver Jordan Matthews and defensive end Shaq Lawson have been placed on injured reserve. Jordan Matthews (vertical)To fill their spots, the Bills have promoted defensive end Cap Capi and wide receiver Brandon Reilly to the active roster.

Matthews was the Eagles’ leading receiver in 2016, but Philly spent much of the offseason looking to unload him. In August, they found a taker in the Bills, who shipped Sammy Watkins to the Rams on the same day. Buffalo gave up cornerback Ronald Darby to receive Matthews and a 2018 third-round pick.

Unfortunately, injuries have held Matthews back all year long. Matthews recovered from a broken thumb and fractured sternum, but he has been dealing with a knee issue in recent weeks.

In ten games, the wide receiver had just 25 catches for 282 yards and one touchdown. That pales in comparison to the 73 catches for 804 yards and three touchdowns he had in 2016 and the career-high numbers (85 grabs, 997 yards, eight touchdowns) he put up in the previous year. Matthews is scheduled for free agency in March and he was hoping for a much better platform when he arrived in Buffalo.

Lawson, meanwhile, sprained his ankle last Sunday and had to be carted off of the field. The No. 19 overall pick in the 2016 draft has appeared in just 21 games in his first two NFL seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC East

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC East teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the BillsDolphinsPatriots, and Jets are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Bills Cut 30 Players, Reach 53-Man Limit

The Bills have reached the 53-man max in advance of the deadline. Here’s the full rundown of their moves, courtesy of the team.


Released with injury settlement:


Placed on IR:


Bills Sign 13 UDFAs

The Bills have signed 13 undrafted free agents. Here’s the full list:

The signing of Johnson, a Buffalo product and graduate of nearby Sweet Home High school, should make fans happy. He could perhaps find inspiration in fellow UB running back Branden Oliver who went undrafted out of college but went on to make an impact in the NFL.

The Bills’ roster now stands at 92, so we should see at least a couple of cuts go down shortly.