AFC East

AFCE… As the smoke clears…..

AFCE… As the smoke clears…..
Luciano 11
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Free agency frenzy has come to an end with few available players still unsigned. I want to go back and try to asses the damages and also give credit where credit is due, especially as it relates to our division.
 
 

Losers

There are always winners and losers in free agency, even if the results will not be until the Super Bowl is played.
 
Miami Dolphins

This is a team that should clearly be rebuilding, the approach leaves me a bit baffled. New HC comes into a situation during which it is very obvious that he is being asked to not simply tank, but to drown asap. He must really enjoy pain, because why take on a gig like that? Most HCs are fired after 3 seasons, and his first will a total waste. Ross should have saved some money and hired the HC of North Miami HS.

Then we look at what was accomplished:

  1. Traded Ryan Tannehill, leaving the organization without a QB. I mean he could have become a good mentor for whomever they draft….Unless to drown faster you don’t draft one at all. This move created a whopping $18,423,332 in dead money!!
  2. Allowed favorite and long time soldier Cameron Wake to walk away, I bet he would have preferred to end his career in Miami on the cheap.
  3. Signed these amazing players: Dwayne Allen, TE: and Eric Rowe, CB

Not sure there is a team that has done worst in the NFL, regardless of how great a draft Miami has, its going to be a very long 2019! The team does lead the NFL, by far, in one category, $34,381,072 of dead money. Basically 18% of total, that is absurd.
 
 

Incomplete

Incomplete because the Super Bowl champs tend to load up on players that will get cut after June 1. Belichick has made it a career of bringing in boat loads of discarded players, and usually makes it work.
 
New England Patriots

Patriots always march to their own drum beat, as it usually occurs yearly, they lost some big names, and contributors in their latest SB. Not sure how we could sit here and say they blew this, until it does actually come back to bite. That is why I have to say incomplete.

Then we look at what was accomplished:

  1. Lost: DT Malcom Brown (agreed to terms with Saints), CB Eric Rowe (signed with Miami), WR Cordarrelle Patterson (signed with Chicago), DE Trey Flowers (signed with Detroit), T Trent Brown (signed with Oakland). Trey, Trent and Malcom are names one wonders why?
  2. Signed: Terrence Brooks, S, Bruce Ellington, WR, and traded for Michael Bennett, DE. Not exactly replacements at the same level. Bennett was good, maybe Bill can bring out his best again, but he will be a distraction, and frankly not worth the risk.
  3. Many many still unsigned players, most notably Logan and Gostkowski.

Like I said, its very hard to say that this has been a good off-season for the champs, and had Belichick not done this before, I would have them in the loser bracket. Sooner or later this approach will backfire.
 
 

Winners

Both the Bills and the Jets have to be the winners, not sure I would pick one over the other, because both filled immediate holes, however both still have holes to fill. I think the respecting GMs are doing a great job closing the gap with Patriots. It may take yet another year, but on this pace, Bills and Jets should be fighting with the Pats for the top spot in 2020. I like what both teams have done.
 
Buffalo Bills

I know I pick on some of our Bills fans about Mr. Beane, but, I will admit, he has done remarkably well. The Bills found a franchise QB last year, and are now building around the kid. Josh Allen can become the new Wentz with a better supporting cast.

Then we look at what was accomplished:

  1. Have they even lost any player that can be considered valuable?
  2. Signed: Cole Beasley, WR, John Brown, WR, Frank Gore, RB, Kevin Johnson, CB, Tyler Kroft, TE, Mitch Morse, C, Ty Nsekhe, OT, Andre Roberts, WR/KR. Many real good players on this list. Morse, if he stays healthy can be a huge addition. Brown will provide deep threat speed, and Beasley a sure handed ball hog.

I cannot make predictions this early, but if Josh has progressed, the Bills and their fans will be in for a fun season. Hitting a HR in the draft can be a huge difference maker (I will let our Bills Expert staff writer, Mr. Archer write about that). The team will be in a good spot with the CAP next year as well.
 
 
New York Jets

As a Jets fan, I had hoped for a very similar outcome, with maybe one surprise on a signing and one not signed. Like the Bills, the Jets may have found their franchise QB, and now they must put pieces around him to help the kid grow. I had hoped that we would follow the Rams/Bears recipe, and I think the GM is well on the way of doing that. Give second year QB better weapons, get some OL help, and get studs on D.

Then we look at what was accomplished:

  1. Like the Bills the Jets lost nobody in particular that will a huge player elsewhere. Only one I really miss is Mayers, but at that price! No thanks, he’s only a kicker.
  2. Signed: Le’Veon Bell, RB, Josh Bellamy, WR, Chandler Catanzaro, K, Jamison Crowder, WR, C.J. Mosley, LB:, traded for Kelechi Osemele, OG. LeVeon will add immediate help not only as a runner, but also as a viable option in the passing game. Darnold had nobody in that role last year, as a result his short range completion % was horrible. I wanted Crowder badly because I want Enunwa to be on the WR2 spot. Crowder must stay healthy, if he does, the Jets will be very hard to defend, even with a crappy WR1. Mosley was a surprise sign, he adds immediate impact to the middle, with the addition of a pass rusher in the draft, this D will be a force.

Like I wrote about the Bills, hard to make predictions today, however, I do believe that these teams are moving parallel to one another, and eventually will dominate the division, as Josh and Sam will battle it out yearly. Jets must get a pass rushing demon in this draft, and there are many. Moving down a few spots will return the draft capital lost to get Darnold, and more. I also want to see them get OL, especially at Center. I was hoping for Paradis, in the end, MAC liked both Paradis and Morse, but neither has stayed healthy, and we have gone down this road last year. Jets’ CAP situation will be good again in 2020, by then they maybe looking to add a few smaller pieces to complete this team. 

Final Thoughts

I really do like what Bills and Jets are doing, should be a fun 2019, but an amazing 2020! The Patriots will be the Patriots, but the gap is getting smaller and smaller. The Dolphins have no clue, and this kind of rebuild with so much in dead money can take years. By the time the Dolphins become legit again, there will be a new HC, which makes this year so weird!

I just learned about FitzMagic!!!!!! LOL!!! This maybe best move to date in 2019 for team from Down?Under!!!

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