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AFC Roundup: Same face, same place

The Bills and Patriots were able to sign some of their own before the start of free agency.

Free agency officially begins on Wednesday but that hasn’t stopped some of the teams in the AFC East from making some moves. The Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots have both made a couple of re-signings that will be beneficial to the team, while the Miami Dolphins pulled the trigger a little earlier.

Buffalo brought back guard Quinton Spain on a three-year deal. This signing is significant because it means the offensive line will return all five starters from a year ago—something that is sure to make Josh Allen happy. The team has also brought back tight end Jason Croom who had an injury-plagued 2019 season but may still be able to contribute to the offense in 2020 in addition to WR Robert Foster and CB Levi Wallace. (A contract extension for Jordan Poyer was also worked out.)

In New England, the Patriots are bringing back two key players. Arguably the best special teams player in the league, Matthew Slater returns on a two-year deal. Slater’s leadership and abilities on special teams makes this a key signing for the team. Safety Devin McCourty also returns on a two-year deal after being a key part of the defense for the past couple of seasons.

Miami signed their contract extensions in December, re-upping with cornerback Eric Rowe and WR DeVante Parker. Both played well in Miami’s first season under new coach Brian Flores and both will be part of the rebuild now.

Once free agency officially begins, expect the division to look a bit different as teams try to make big improvements and the Patriots move on without Tom Brady.