- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. provided his offseason grades for the AFC on Monday. It turns out two teams made the grade and two didn't.
Here is a look at Williamson's offseason grades in the division:
Buffalo Bills: A-
It's hard to argue with Buffalo's stellar offseason. In case you didn't know, the Bills are my slee...just kidding. But many are on Buffalo's bandwagon, and Williamson gave the Bills the highest grade in the AFC. “Things are on the upswing in Buffalo,” Williamson said. The Bills look good on paper. But it’s been a while -- 13 years to be exact -- since Buffalo made the playoffs. It’s been a great offseason for the Bills, but they still have to prove themselves on the field.
New York Jets: C+
New York was strapped by the cap. The Jets made a few moves, but nothing spectacular this offseason. Williamson was harsh on the lack of upgrades on offense, and particularly the quarterbacks: Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow. “Can the Jets win low-scoring games consistently in 2012? It's possible, but the offense has two of my least favorite quarterbacks with respect to throwing the football.” Ouch! Sanchez certainly has a lot to prove. The Jets tried to get a few pieces around him in second-round pick Stephen Hill and receiver Chaz Schilens. But I thought New York could have done more to help its quarterback. The defense has looked good this offseason.
Williamson was pretty clear in saying, “As it stands today, the Patriots are the best team in football.” That’s a strong statement, but the Patriots did have a strong offseason. They added free agents such as receiver Brandon Lloyd and went hard on defense in the draft, which includes first-rounders Dont’a Hightower and Chandler Jones. There’s not many weaknesses on this team. The reigning AFC champs look determined to get back to the Super Bowl.
The Dolphins had a rough start to the offseason, then made it up with a solid draft. But Williamson doesn’t think that’s enough to turn Miami around. “It seems clear that the Dolphins are a worse team now than they were in February. However, if Miami ends up adding its franchise quarterback in [Ryan] Tannehill, the 2012 offseason will be a success.” Tannehill was Miami’s first-round pick and quarterback of the future. If he’s the long-term solution, Tannehill will be the jewel of the 2012 offseason. I’ve said numerous times I don’t see the Dolphins winning more than six games this season. This is a rebuilding year under a new coaching staff. It will take time.
3dField Yates and Rich Cimini