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Tyler Dunne's 3 Bills Thoughts: Fitzstalemate continues, Tom Brady's weapons, Tannehill turnaround?

It's been a quiet week in the NFL with another quiet one coming up. OTA's are still a ways away. So while we've talked plenty about the Bills in this space, let's check in on the other teams in the AFC East and where they stand at quarterback.

QB still the question in New York. Nobody could've imagined the stalemate between Ryan Fitzpatrick and management would've dragged on into mid-May but here the Jets are, still calling Fitz's bluff. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter during the draft, New York was offering the free agent a deal worth $7M-$8M per year and Fitzpatrick was looking to double that amount. By now, teams have charted plans at quarterback. They've either signed veterans, drafted QB's for the future or, like Philadelphia, done both. Fitz's market has dwindled since March. Maybe these two sides are still best together but, for now, the Jets trudge along with Geno Smith, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. After IK Enemkpali broke Smith's jaw last August, Fitzpatrick stepped in to throw 31 touchdown passes and 3,905 yards through a 10-6 season, though he struggled in two losses to Buffalo.

Smith threw 34 interceptions in his two years as a starter. Hackenberg could be a long-term answer but the Jets would surely prefer to bring him along slowly.

There's no denying that Fitzpatrick gives this Jets offense full of veterans (Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Matt Forte) the best chance to win now. And there's no denying he was a perfect fit in Chan Gailey's offense last season. With OTA's and minicamp closing in, it would be no shock if a compromise was somehow reached.

Patriots surround Tom Brady with weapons again. When Brady returns to the field from his Deflategate suspension --- and who knows where that saga goes next --- he'll certainly like what he sees outside.

At tight end, there's Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett. At receiver, in the slot, there's still Julian Edelman, who had foot surgery but is expected to be ready for training camp. Danny Amendola restructured his contract to stay. The team paid up for RFA Chris Hogan, a tough, ideal fit for their option route-based passing game. And, for good measure, New England drafted Georgia's Malcolm Mitchell in the fourth round. All of the above are sharp route runners with different body types. Whereas the Bills looked to build their offense around the NFL's No. 1-ranked rushing attack, New England is aiming to again spread teams out with three, four, five wide. They prefer a death-by-a-thousand-paper cuts passing game with Brady dissecting coverages underneath.

Can the Bills get the Patriots to play at their tempo? A stream of three-and-out's sunk Buffalo at home in Week 2 last season. The contrast in offensive styles should be interesting to watch next season.

Brady turns 39 years old in August, but showed no signs of slowing down last season (4,770 yards, 36 touchdowns and seven interceptions) and now a fuller complement of weapons.

Can Adam Gase get Ryan Tannehill back on track? While it's easy to poke fun at the Dolphins' signing of Mario Williams, who seemed to quit on the Bills last season, he wasn't the marquee addition in Miami this off-season. No, that'd be head coach Adam Gase, who has worked wonders with quarterbacks. Gase got the best out of Jay Cutler in Chicago. One year after getting benched for Jimmy Clausen, Cutler completed 64.4 passes for 3,659 yards with 21 touchdowns, 11 picks and a 92.3 passer rating under Gase. His career got back on track. Can Gase work his magic now with Ryan Tannehill? After promising 2014 season, Tannehill regressed in 2015. Now, he'll work with Gase. "His work with quarterbacks is well documented," Cutler said in a statement when Gase was hired, "and I know firsthand how good he is." Don't count out the Dolphins in the AFC East. Miami is gambling that Jay Ajayi and Kenyan Drake can carry the running game --- losing Lamar Miller in free agency could sting. But we've seen so many quarterbacks in Tannehill's shoes flourish with better coaching and he's got the talent. Tannehill eclipsed 4,000 yards in each of the last two seasons.

 

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