HomeFootball DirtBecton and Howard Highlight AFC East News for Jets and Bills

Becton and Howard Highlight AFC East News for Jets and Bills

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Mekhi Becton‘s quest to solidify himself as the Jets‘ long-term left tackle did not come to fruition, but the injury-prone blocker did finish the season without an IR trip. A few other Jets O-linemen could not say the same. Becton’s contract year consisted of 16 games and starts at both right and left tackle. While the 2020 first-round pick would like to re-sign with the Jets, ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini notes the team is unlikely to have a strong interest in a second contract.

Pro Football Focus graded Becton 68th overall among tackles this season, and Next Gen Stats charged the slimmed-down tackle with 12 sacks allowed. That said, the Jets will need to be aggressive in their pursuit of tackle help this offseason. Duane Brown is 38 and played out a two-year contract. He and Becton departing would leave the Jets with two tackle vacancies, though the team has explored the possibility of shifting Alijah Vera-Tucker to right tackle on a full-time basis. But Vera-Tucker, drafted as a guard, has suffered season-ending injuries in each of the past two years.

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • A player the Jets look to have more interest in signing, Bryce Huff, will not stay just because he has developed as a Jet. Pointing to his family and those around him, the young defensive end said (via SNY’s Connor Hughes) he will take the best offer he receives in free agency. The Jets, however, do want to re-sign Huff, per GM Joe Douglas. A former UDFA, Huff broke through in his contract year to lead the team with 10.5 sacks despite not starting any games. The Jets and Huff, who has not graded well as a run defender, discussed an extension during the season. The Jets have first-rounders Jermaine Johnson and Will McDonald, along with John Franklin-Myers, but losing Huff would be a blow for Robert Saleh‘s defense.
  • On the same note, Xavien Howard is unlikely to accept a pay cut to stay with the Dolphins, ProFootballNetwork.com’s Adam Beasley notes. “No matter where I’m going, I’m still going to do my thing,” Howard said. “Whatever comes with it, I’m excited about what will happen.” The Dolphins’ longest-tenured starter, at eight seasons, Howard is signed through 2026 on the contract he agreed to upon voicing issue with Byron Jones out-earning him. Miami gave Howard a five-year, $90MM extension in 2022, but the veteran ballhawk is now 30 and finished the season sidelined with a foot sprain. The Dolphins, who released Jones as a post-June 1 cut last year, can only recoup notable savings by using this designation on Howard. Now employing Jalen Ramsey as its top corner, Miami would save $18.5MM this year by using the post-June 1 designation on Howard.
  • The Bills will be without Gabe Davis in a second playoff game, ruling out the contract-year wideout for their divisional-round game. Davis is battling a PCL sprain, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets. Davis represents an intriguing free agent-to-be, having scored 14 touchdowns over the past two seasons, but the Bills have seen 2022 fifth-rounder Khalil Shakir emerge as a player capable of being a low-cost Stefon Diggs complement going forward.
  • Additionally, Buffalo has not ruled out Terrel Bernard for its Kansas City rematch. Bernard was carted off the field against the Steelers, but the Bills’ top tackler only suffered a sprained ankle, Rapoport adds. The second-year linebacker aggravated the ankle injury he sustained earlier this season, per the Buffalo News’ Ryan O’Halloran. While the Bills are already without Matt Milano at linebacker, starter Tyrel Dodson — who missed the team’s wild-card game — is on track to return in Round 2.
  • Leonard Floyd collected an additional $1MM by reaching 10 sacks this season, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. The May free agency addition signed a one-year, $7MM deal, one that has been vital due to Von Miller‘s struggle to return to form following his second ACL tear. Floyd, 30, totaled a career-high-matching 10.5 sacks this season.


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