AFC East

AFC East: Biggest Offseason Priorities

The red and yellow confetti has fallen in Las Vegas crowning the Kansas City Chiefs as Super Bowl LVIII Champions. This is Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ third Super Bowl in five years and officially signals the end of the 2023 season and the beginning of the 2024 offseason. The work now starts for all 31 teams to prepare their rosters for 2024, especially teams in the AFC looking to dethrone Kansas City.

Today let’s look at the biggest priorities for each AFC East hopeful.

AFC East: Biggest Offseason Priorities

Buffalo Bills: Complement to Stefon Diggs

The 2023 season was a bumpy road full of highs and lows for the Buffalo Bills which ultimately ended in another heartbreaking playoff loss at the hands of the Chiefs. Entering the offseason the Bills have various needs to fill to finally get to the mountaintop in 2024. One of the biggest needs however comes at wide receiver where Buffalo needs to look at an upgrade next to Stefon Diggs.

This past season was full of a lot of inconsistencies on offense especially for Diggs who wasn’t his usual self. This has led to the questions that started last season if Diggs is unhappy in Buffalo which could lead to a trade request. The most likely scenario is he remains a Buffalo Bill and if that is the case Brandon Beane and company need to find more consistency alongside Diggs, especially with Gabe Davis set to hit the open market. Buffalo, has quality options through both free agency/trade and the draft.

Buffalo holds the 28th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft which in a deep wide receiver class puts them in a prime position to find an upgrade over Gabe Davis. These receiver options include Keon Coleman, Troy Franklin, Adonai Mitchell, and Xavier Legette, which is an under-the-radar option. The task is clear for Buffalo, first making sure Diggs is happy and then finding a young consistent option alongside him.

Miami Dolphins: Offensive Line

It was another late-season collapse for the Miami Dolphins in 2023 which had led to another offseason full of questions. Miami enters the offseason with a few different areas of need on offense and defense that need to be addressed. One of the biggest is the offensive line which they will look to build up for the future.

It’s not that Miami had a poor year up front the concerns come with the injuries suffered last season and the impending free agents. Miami only allowed 31 sacks last season which ranked tied for the fourth fewest in the NFL. However, interior pieces such as Connor Williams, Robert Hunt, and Isaiah Wynn are all set to hit the open market. On top of this, tackle Terron Armstead could be nearing the end of his career and hanging up the cleats. This could leave Miami with major holes up front.

The ideal situation is to try and find young pieces that can build chemistry together and form an offensive line that will be strong for a long time. Miami holds the 21st pick in the NFL Draft and could look to add names such as Jackson Powers-Johnson, Troy Fautanu, Tyler Guyton, and others.

New York Jets: Offensive Line

To say the 2023 season was a nightmare might be an understatement as for the 13th year in a row the New York Jets missed out on the postseason. After Aaron Rodgers went down four snaps into the season, New York went from Super Bowl hopeful to survival mode. This resulted in another lost season which means more questions than answers with the roster especially up in the trenches.

The Jets entered the season with questions up front and they left with even more questions up front. In 2023, the Jets found themselves using 13 different offensive line combinations and the team only scored 22 touchdowns. Not exactly a winning ratio. On top of this, the Jets were near the bottom in many statistical categories.

  • 64 sacks allowed (Tied-Most in AFC)
  • 27% pressure percentage (2nd Highest in NFL)
  • 188 pressures allowed (Most in AFC)
  • 60 hurries (2nd Most in AFC)

Entering the 2024 offseason the Jets will need to fill at least two possibly three holes on the offensive line depending on the future of guard Laken Tomlinson. Luckily for Joe Douglas and the Jets, they have the 10th overall pick to try and find a franchise tackle. Look for New York to also add free agents and potential trade options to fix the worst offensive line in football. Entering an all-in year in 2024 Douglas must make the right moves and not allow history to repeat itself or else it is going to get late out early in The Big Apple.

New England Patriots: Quarterback

After over two decades of dominance, the New England Patriots have wiped the dynasty slate clean, and new beginnings have arrived in Foxborough. New England moved on from legendary head coach Bill Belichick shortly after the season ended and promoted Jerod Mayo. Between playing and coaching, Mayo has spent 13 years with New England and will now get a chance to get the franchise back on track. It won’t be easy as for the first time in a long time New England finds themselves staring into the quarterback abyss.

After one year with Cam Newton under center, New England quickly pivoted to Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Things started well for Jones and the Patriots reaching ten wins and clinching a playoff birth in 2021. Along with this, Jones added a Pro Bowl to his resume in his first season. However, after that 2021 season things fell apart fast in Foxborough tallying just 12 wins over the next two seasons. The nail in the coffin for Jones was his 2023 campaign where he only tallied 2,120 yards for just 10 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

The positive for the Patriots is after a four-win season in 2023 they are in a prime position with the third overall pick to draft a quarterback. There is a good chance either Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels are available at pick three. Adding a young exciting quarterback is crucial for the Patriots as they are in a division that features Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers, and Tua Tagovailoa.

Main Image: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

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