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AFC East Roundup: Training camp storylines

How are things within the division as the season nears?

We are entering the home stretch before the NFL’s regular season begins. With training camps well underway, teams are either looking to continue their momentum from last season or attempting to right last season’s wrongs while trying to fill out the 53-man roster. With only three preseason games to scout players. it makes practices all the more important as players try to stand out. As such, let’s recap some training camp notes among the teams in the AFC East.

Buffalo Bills: Josh Allen’s new deal

The big news coming out of training camp so far is the extension of quarterback Josh Allen. The team signed Allen to a new contract that will keep him with the Bills until 2028. The deal also made Allen the first player in NFL history to sign for $100 million in guaranteed money. Buffalo invested in a three-year project to fully develop Allen and to build the offense around him with weapons. It payed off with a trip to the AFC Championship game last season as well as an MVP-caliber season from Allen. With their quarterback signed for the long haul, the Bills can turn their attention to trying to repeat as division champs.

Miami Dolphins: Xavien Howard gets his money

An early training camp story for the Dolphins was the absence of All-Pro cornerback Xavien Howard. Howard was unhappy with his current deal even though he still had four years to go on his contract. He made it clear that it was either a new deal or he wanted to be traded—and nothing in-between. The end result was a restructure that will enable Howard to earn upwards of $16 million for this coming season. However, one thing to note is that the adjusted contract was for this season only. It’s possible the team will be in the same situation with Howard heading into next season.

New England Patriots: The quarterback competition

The really big battle of training camp in New England has been Cam Newton versus first-round pick Mac Jones. Newton is showing that he can still be an MVP-type quarterback after a disappointing showing last season following his recovery from COVID-19. Meanwhile, Jones is trying to prove to the Patriots that they were wise to draft him in the first round as their future QB1. Our friends over at Pats Pulpit have noted that Newton’s accuracy his been hit or miss thus far in training camp. There has been nothing worth mentioning to show that he’s done exceptionally well. When it comes to Jones, he has had trouble during initial practices but has more recently shown decisiveness and quicker progressions through his reads. It will be interesting to see the snap distribution between the two quarterbacks in preseason games.

New York Jets: Slow and steady for Zach Wilson

The Jets held their intersquad scrimmage this past Saturday night and second overall pick Zach Wilson didn’t have a great showing. Wilson completed only 11 passes with two interceptions after leading the offense on seven drives. Wilson still has a ways to go in his development but hopefully for the team he will continue to progress before the start of the regular season. With Josh Allen just getting paid in Buffalo and Sam Darnold staring over with the Carolina Panthers, the team would rather not miss again on a top quarterback pick.