Wednesday, April 3, 2013
AFC East offseason Stock Watch
By James Walker
Let's take a look at whose stock is rising and falling this offseason in the AFC East.
The addition of Kevin Kolb in Buffalo probably means the Bills will pass on taking a signal-caller in Round 1 of this month's draft.
1. Buffalo Bills first-round quarterback: The Bills made a risky move to sign former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb to a two-year, $13 million contract. Buffalo is counting on Kolb to turn his career around after unsuccessful stints with the Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles. But the most pertinent aspect of this signing is it reduces the chances of Buffalo taking a quarterback at No. 8 overall. The Bills were often projected for first-round quarterbacks such as West Virginia’s Geno Smith and USC’s Matt Barkley. But with Kolb in the fold, the Bills are more likely to draft another need position early, such as wide receiver, linebacker, guard, or safety.
2. New York Jets, Tim Tebow: It’s hard to understand why the Jets wouldn’t cut bait with their backup quarterback. The Jets are still holding out hope that Tebow has trade value before the NFL draft, but the market appears nonexistent. Quarterbacks like Kolb, Matt Flynn, Carson Palmer and Jason Campbell are switching teams all over the place. But there has been virtually no interest in Tebow, who is definitely available. New York’s one-year experiment with Tebow was a disaster, and the Jets and Tebow are better off going their separate ways sooner than later. Holding out for a seventh-round pick isn't worth it.
3. Patriots tailback Jeff Demps: The Patriots took a flier on Demps last year due to his speed and athleticism. But New England knew the 2012 Olympian’s first love was track, not football. Demps recently said on a Florida radio station that he will focus on track this offseason and probably miss the start of the football season. It’s not surprising, but it does put Demps’ future with the Patriots in doubt. New England must decide whether to stick with a player whose focus is not completely on football.
1. Miami Dolphins cornerbacks: Miami desperately needed a boost at cornerback and signed former Pro Bowler Brent Grimes, who could be one of the biggest steals of the offseason. Grimes was a top-end corner before suffering a season-ending Achilles injury in 2012. Miami signed Grimes to a one-year, $5.5 million contract. He has to prove he's still the same player he was before the injury. The Dolphins still have to decide whether they want to keep Richard Marshall and Dimitri Patterson. But they could save money by releasing at least one of the players and adding depth in the NFL draft.
2. USC WR Robert Woods: Woods is a fast-rising prospect who could be drafted in the 20s later this month. Woods is getting plenty of interest in the AFC East and recently had a private workout with Buffalo, where he displayed solid routes, hands and quickness. Woods could be a strong target for the Bills if they trade up from their 40th pick in the second round. Buffalo needs a reliable threat opposite Steve Johnson, and Woods has the all-around game to complement Johnson well. Woods is scheduled to meet with approximately 10 teams before the NFL draft, including the New York Jets, who also need help at receiver.
3. Tom Brady and Danny Amendola: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and wide receiver Danny Amendola made a wise move this week. Both are already working out together at USC in preparation for next season. The Patriots are moving on from the Wes Welker debacle, and a lot of pressure will be on Amendola to replace that immense production in the slot. Brady and Amendola are already working to build chemistry. This combination will be vital to New England's success this upcoming season.