July 28, 2012; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow (15) leaves the field following training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-US PRESSWIRE
The AFC East has been incredibly eventful this off-season, with high-profile names entering and leaving divisional foes. With the HBO series Hard Knocks visiting the Miami Dolphins, we also got a chance to see inside that organization this August.
The most "newsworthy" addition in the AFC East was the New York Jets' backup quarterback. Tim Tebow has stormed the media hub of the East Coast and received plenty of headlines. The plan is to work him in short-yardage and goal-line packages as well as on the punt team while he backs up Mark Sanchez. At right tackle, the Jets began training camp with Wayne Hunter, but traded him in late August to the St. Louis Rams after demoting him. Mario Williams will now be rushing past Austin Howard. (See Brian Galliford's take on that here.) See the full list of their roster cuts here.
The Miami Dolphins have had a tumultuous offseason highlighted by the firing of Tony Sporano and the hiring of former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin as their new head coach. Since his arrival, the Dolphins have signed and released wide receiver Chad Johnson (see: Ochocinco), traded talented cornerback Vontae Davis and wide receiver Brandon Marshall, and announced that rookie Ryan Tannehill will start at quarterback over incumbent Matt Moore leading several veterans to question the direction of the team that went on an impressive 6-3 run to finish the 2011 season. They had no cuts of note and may still be interested in adding a wide receiver.
Comparatively, the New England Patriots had some surprise roster cuts while adding smart pieces and keeping themselves out of the headlines. They released the aforementioned Johnson and signed Brandon Lloyd, perhaps the best free agent wide receiver on the market. They placed the franchise tag on Wes Welker while extending young tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski. They attempted to re-stock at running back by adding veteran Joseph Addai but they cut him a week later. Among their roster cuts were Super Bowl XXXIX MVP Deion Branch at wide receiver, back-up quarterback Brian Hoyer, reserve offensive lineman Dan Koppen, and safety James Ihedigbo.
The Bills open the season against the Jets, host the Patriots in Week 4, and don't see the Dolphins until a Thursday night match-up at the Ralph in Week 11.