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AFC East Roundup: Recapping the start of free agency

The AFC East wasn’t going to let the AFC West have all the fun!

The NFL offseason has been wild so far, especially in the AFC. While the AFC West has been the division on display with so many key moves, the AFC East hasn’t remained quiet. Let’s get caught up on what things look like in the East as of today.

For the Buffalo Bills, the prize of their free agency is linebacker Von Miller. One of the areas the Bills wanted to improve on at the end of last season was the defensive line. The team needed a difference maker coming off of the edge, and who better than an eight-time Pro Bowler coming off of a Super Bowl victory. Miller has shown that he can still get it done, and hopefully he’s the piece to put Buffalo over the hump. The Bills also signed Tim Settle and DaQuan Jones while bringing back some familiar faces in Jordan Phillips, Shaq Lawson, and Marquel Lee. Buffalo showed they were not going to sit idly by while others stocked up, and they clearly put an emphasis on options to make quarterbacks more uncomfortable.

On offense, the team prioritized signing O.J. Howard to add a potential wrinkle at tight end behind or in tandem with Dawson Knox. After failing to land J.D. McKissic, the Bills agreed to terms with Duke Johnson to fill the void left by Matt Breida, and Jamison Crowder to potentially fill the slot role vacated by Cole Beasley. With signings along the offensive line in Rodger Saffold and Greg Mancz, plus the trade for Case Keenum, things will look a little different on offense for Josh Allen—though he sees a familiar face return in Matt Barkley.

Speaking of sitting idly, that’s exactly what the New England Patriots have done so far and their fans are not happy about it. The team has only signed three players out on the open market: Ja’whaun Bentley, Terrance Mitchell and Ty Montgomery. New England did re-sign some core pieces who were on the team last season though. On defense, Devin McCourty will return to help anchor the back of the unit. Offensively, veteran James White will return hoping to contribute a lot more after an injury-riddled season. Special teams specialist and locker room leader, Matthew Slater, cannot be forgotten and will be returning for another season with the Pats.

Over in New Jersey, head coach Robert Saleh is continuing to build the type of roster he prefers in his second year with the New York Jets. He brought in two new weapons for Zach Wilson in tight ends C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin. On defense, the Jets signed safety D.J. Reed and Jordan Whitehead who will both be looked at to help bring the defense back to prominence. Saleh is also rewarding a couple players for their performance last season by re-signing lineman Dan Feeney and defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd.

Lastly, we head down to South Beach where first-year head coach Mike McDaniel is looking for a statement early on with the Miami Dolphins. While McDaniel was in San Francisco, the team would utilize the fullback and running back position to the fullest extent. We can see him bringing that same philosophy to the Dolphins with the signings of Alec Ingold, Chase Edmonds, and Raheem Mostert. The big offensive move for Miami was signing receiver Cedrick Wilson who had a great year with the Dallas Cowboys. Tue Tagovailoa may once again be looking over his shoulder with the addition of Teddy Bridgewater, who has proven capable of winning games in the NFL.