The AFC East saw a complete overhaul during the 2020 NFL season. It was taken over by a new team looking to turn into a powerhouse. That team is the Buffalo Bills.
Buffalo came out on top in the division and looked the part during the postseason. They suffered a loss in the AFC Championship Game to the Kansas City Chiefs but they seem to have it figured out.
The coach and quarterback combination of Sean McDermott and Josh Allen looks like one that can be successful for years to come. Buffalo took over the top spot from the New England Patriots. They went through a transition year while Tom Brady was off winning a Super Bowl in Tampa Bay. Bill Belichick is hoping that transition does not last long.
The Patriots were aggressive in free agency and they are hoping that can get them back to the top. They will have to battle Buffalo and the Miami Dolphins. Brian Flores has completely turned the organization around and they are looking to take the next step this season. Then, there are the New York Jets, who are on yet another head coach and quarterback. Robert Saleh and Zach Wilson will be the newest duo to take on New York.
Like any other division, the AFC East is one that can look a whole lot different once the season kicks off. These three players could be on different teams in Week 1 and it will be interesting to see if their current teams pull the trigger.
Buffalo Bills: Devin Singletary
The Bills might have been an electric team during the 2020 season but they were less than impressive in the backfield. Allen did a lot of the rushing and kept defenses on their heels. One player who has been underwhelming is Devin Singletary. The third-round pick of the Bills back in 2019 could be first on their list to move.
Singletary has scored just four touchdowns on the ground in two years. He has totaled just 1,462 yards in those two years since entering the league. This is one of the reasons that the Bills ranked 19th in rushing last season. Buffalo has been patient with Singletary and given him plenty of chances.
They will enter 2021 with a gamble if the Florida Atlantic product is still on the roster. If he is unimpressive once again, it will be even harder to move him next year. Even now, the Bills cannot expect to get too much for him. The Bills did not select a running back in the 2021 NFL Draft so this will naturally raise the question on where the Bills would go if they decide to move Singletary.
Buffalo is expected to have an explosive offense once again this season. That would be taken to the next level if they can get any semblance of a rushing attack. Singletary could get one more chance in Buffalo, especially at 23 years old, but the Bills could be running short of patience and look for a deal.
Miami Dolphins: DeVante Parker
Parker had a strong season in 2019 and got rewarded for it. He logged 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns and was given a four-year, $40 million extension with Miami. This is not the first time we have seen his name in trade rumors. This time around, the Dolphins could make it a reality after another injury-plagued season.
Parker missed time in 2020 and this cost him some production. He was down in catches, yards, and touchdowns from 2019. Parker still has the value where the Dolphins could get a nice haul in return. Miami has reloaded on the outside. They signed Will Fuller to a one-year deal in free agency and used the sixth-overall pick in the draft on Jaylen Waddle.
Along with Mike Gesicki, there will be no shortage of weapons for Tua Tagovailoa. As for Parker, his spot could be getting filled. This season, Parker will count as $12 million toward the cap. The Dolphins are tied to a lot of that money if Parker is released but they could choose to save some by making a move.
The Dolphins are one of the fastest rising teams in the league. It shows what a good head coach and a smart front office can do. Now, they can start to make some moves sending players away now that they have brought in the ones that will be contributing in 2021.
New England Patriots: JC Jackson
Jackson signed his second-round tenure with the Patriots in April. This means he is locked up for one year before entering free agency next offseason. Jackson has been strong for the Patriots but that does not mean that he is for sure going to be on the roster. Jackson remains one of the biggest trade pieces for New England.
This all comes down to if the Patriots have intentions of signing Jackson long term. If the answer is no, it would make sense to move him. Teams can still be willing to take a chance on Jackson and he would come cheap. This is because he is not locked down and they will have leverage.
For New England, getting something is better than nothing moving forward. This situation has been compared to, but is not exactly like, that of Malcolm Butler. It is certain that the Patriots do not want a repeat of that debacle back in 2017.
Belichick has some decisions to make on Jackson moving forward. There is plenty of time throughout the summer for the Patriots to make a move involving Jackson.
New York Jets: CJ Mosley
Remember when Mosley signed a five-year, $85 million deal with the Jets and thrived during his first game against the Bills in 2019? The Jets’ defense was supposed to be back but then Mosley got hurt and it all went downhill. Well, here we are in 2021 and Mosley has played just two games in a Jets’ uniform after opting out of the 2020 season.
The Jets already made a big splash when they sent Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers. Now, they have been taking calls on Mosley. He has $22 million left in guarantees on his contract and will count toward $6 million in cap this season. Mosley has been one of the top linebackers in the league but he has barely played in two years.
The Jets could look to use whatever value he has left in a trade. New York signed Jarrad Davis in free agency to take over at the linebacker position. The Jets will have a new-look team and they could continue to make some big moves.
Mosley has not been a factor for the Jets and who knows what he will be when he returns. What we do know is that the Jets have taken some calls on their linebacker and he could be on the move if the right offer is made.