AFC East: Markell Carter

AFC East links: Bills' Glenn on a mission

May, 14, 2012
5/14/12
9:45
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Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo News' Mark Gaughan reports rookie offensive lineman Cordy Glenn is determined to prove he can succeed at left tackle.

Cornerback Stephon Gilmore had three picks during rookie minicamp and earned praise from coach Chan Gailey, writes Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News.

Former Bills' undrafted free agent Domonic Cook is happy to have a second chance with the Bills, Skurski reports.

Miami Dolphins

The Sun Sentinel runs down 10 lingering questions for the Dolphins.

Former Dolphin Zach Thomas is trying to cope with Junior Seau's death.

New England Patriots

The move from the college ranks to the NFL has not been easy for 2011 draft pick Markell Carter. But this year during the rookie minicamp, Carter showed up bigger and better, the Boston Herald's Mark Daniels reports.

Rookie quarterback Mike Hartline knows the odds are stacked against him, writes Daniels.

Hyped as a high school prospect, defensive tackle Marcus Forston struggled in his college career and went undrafted. Now the rookie free agent is looking for a fresh start and a possible job as Vince Wilfork's backup, reports Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald.

Forston's not the only one getting a second chance, Greg. A Bedard of The Boston Globe reports. "They know their undrafted free agents will get a fair shot from Bill Belichick."

New York Jets

Coach Rex Ryan had little to say about the team's decision to turn down a repeat appearance on the HBO show "Hard Knocks."

GM Mike Tannenbaum won't discuss reports that the Jets had a trade worked out with the Steelers to move down in the draft if certain players were available.

Quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh doesn't coddle starter Mark Sanchez, writes Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
Check here for a complete list of the New England Patriots‘ roster moves.

Surprise move: There was plenty of speculation about safety Brandon Meriweather's future after he played into the fourth quarter with the second unit in Thursday’s exhibition finale against the New York Giants, but it was still a surprise when the Patriots outright released the former first-round pick (24th overall in the 2007 draft) on Saturday. After releasing veteran James Sanders as part of the previous cutdowns, the Patriots further turned over that position, waving goodbye to a player who’s been to the Pro Bowl in each of the past two seasons.

The team also raised some eyebrows by releasing defensive end Eric Moore, a starter at season’s end last year, but the additions of veterans such as Mark Anderson and Shaun Ellis on the defensive line made him expendable. Wide receiver Brandon Tate, who was the team’s primary kick returner and No. 3 receiver last year, got edged by more versatile bodies, and veteran running back Sammy Morris was a victim of an influx of young talent at running back.

No-brainers: First-year players like offensive lineman Thomas Austin, running back Eric Kettani, and defensive back Ross Ventrone, as well as rookies linebacker Markell Carter, defensive lineman Aaron Lavarias, defensive end Alex Silvestro, tight end Lee Smith and tight end Will Yeatman were longer shots to make the roster. The release of two young tight ends (Smith and Yeatman) is a bit surprising given New England’s love of three tight-end sets and no pure fullback. (Could veteran Alge Crumpler be on the radar?)

What’s next: The Patriots are certainly in the market for safety help, and with backup guard Rich Ohrnberger placed on season-ending injured reserve, the team is thin on the interior line. Remember that this team rarely sits idle after cutdowns. Expect the Patriots to tweak their roster further based on what becomes available from cutdowns across the league.
With news that veteran outside linebacker Tully Banta-Cain underwent surgery on his abdomen Friday -- and a source estimating a 4-to-5 week recovery -- this highlights the "rush end" role in the team's defense.

Banta-Cain
Banta-Cain
While Banta-Cain is listed on the roster as a 3-4 outside linebacker, I view him as more of a rush end when the team plays a four-man line or is in sub packages in passing situations. He's at his best when getting up the field and not being asked to set a hard edge in the running game.

Six-year veteran Rob Ninkovich and 2010 second-round pick Jermaine Cunningham currently project as the top 3-4 outside linebackers, playing on early downs. In 2010, they would often come off the field on third down in place of Banta-Cain.

So if the Patriots were looking to veteran free agency to fill the void and provide themselves some insurance, they don't necessarily have to lock in on a pure 3-4 'backer. A 4-3 edge rusher could also fit.

Veteran Eric Moore, a late-season signing from 2010, likely steps up to replace Banta-Cain. Marques Murrell, who played in the team's 2010 opener before being cut and brought back late in the year, is back in the mix along with 2011 sixth-round pick Markell Carter of Central Arkansas.

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