While the primary focus for most of us (at least most of us reading this blog) has been what the Miami Dolphins are doing, there are other important things to monitor, especially when it comes to the Dolphins' three division rivals. Are the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, and New York Jets making moves? Will they be better or worse next year? Which teams are gaining players and which are losing players?
This morning, we take a tour around the AFC East to see what the rest of the division is doing - or at least is rumored to be doing. For everything the Dolphins are doing, or are rumored to be doing, you can check out our daily rumor tracker for Wednesday here or our full coverage of free agency for the Dolphins here.
Free agent guard Jahri Evans, who was released by the New Orleans Saints in February, visited with the Bills earlier this week. The Dolphins need guard help and could be interested in Evans, though there has not been a lot of links between South Florida and Evans.
The Bills locked up two former Dolphins who were key members of Buffalo's offense last year. Wide receiver Chris Hogan was tendered as a restricted free agent (technically, Hogan isn't locked up because he could still sign an offer sheet with a new team and make Buffalo either match or choose to lose a key special teams and depth wide receiver, but that may or may not be likely). The Bills also signed Pro Bowl guard Richie Incognito to a three-year, $15.75 million contract.
Two former Bills, both cut by the team, signed with other clubs on Tuesday. The first was the Dolphins' addition of Mario Williams, which was covered by Buffalo Rumblings here. The Philadelphia Eagles signed Leodis McKelvin to a two-year contract.
New England Patriots
The Patriots could get a break from safety Eric Weddle, who wants to play for New England.
Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks is getting interest from 10 teams outside of the Patriots, but the club is hoping they can get him to re-sign.
Bilal Powell is a popular name this offseason, and the Patriots are included in the interest.
Defensive back Tavon Wilson will not be returning to the Patriots. Pats Pulpit says Wilson was another second round disappointment for the Patriots, which includes CB Terrence Wheatley (2008), CB Darius Butler and DT Ron Brace (2009), ED Jermaine Cunningham (2010), and CB Ras-I Dowling (2011).
Mohamed Sanu is on the Patriots' radar, and are said to be one of a few teams looking at the former Cincinnati Bengals receiver. The links between Sanu and Patriots have been speculated for a while now, so this may just be a first step toward him officially moving to New England.
The Patriots are in on a possible AFC East incest signing, as the team has contacted Dolphins wide receiver Rishard Matthews. The Dolphins reportedly would like to keep Matthews, but realize he could get more money on the open market and could land a number two wide receiver role. The Patriots could offer Matthews exactly that.
New York Jets
The Jets may not be in position to re-sign defensive tackle Damon Harrison, who could be headed to the Tennessee Titans. "Big Snacks" is also getting interest from the New York Giants.
J.R. Sweezy is on New York's radar. The Dolphins are also interested in the Seattle Seahawks' guard, as well as a reported eight other teams. This could turn into a bidding war if everyone keeps trying to sign Sweezy.
The Jets appear to be losing running back Chris Ivory, who made the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career last year. There are seven teams reportedly interested in signing Ivory, including the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Oakland has a ton of cap space and has to spend this year to make sure they meet the minimum spending rule in the CBA, so it could be hard for New York to keep Ivory.
With the Jets appearing to lose Harrison, they could be in the market for a defensive tackle. Nick Fairley could be on the team's radar, which makes sense in terms of adding players to the defensive line, though he would not be a perfect one-for-one replacement for Harrison.
In another AFC East incest story, the Bills are reportedly interested in running back Bilal Powell from the Jets. It really should not be a surprise, given Rex Ryan's presence as the Bills head coach after being the Jets - and Powell's - head coach. Gang Green Nation believes the Jets have a good chance to keep Powell, but the Bills' interest is there.
The Jets were reported to be in the hunt for Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones, and then the were reported to be out of the running for Jones. A lot of speculation has the Dolphins linked to Jones, so the Jets falling out of consideration could be a good sign if the Dolphins really are interested. There are, of course, attitude question marks about Jones, but he is a talented player who has to learn to keep his emotions in check.
New York could have interest in returning linebacker Demario Davis, but Gang Green Nation says this could be a smokescreen to garner interest elsewhere. They point out, Davis "clearly fell out of favor as the year progressed."
The Jets are looking for cornerback help in 2016, and took a look at Prince Amukamara.