2024 AFC East Offseason Report Card: Key Additions, Subtractions, Final Grades

Patriots receive high marks, while Dolphins, Jets and Bills have some work to do. 
Maye was selected in the first round of the draft after the team moved on from Mac Jones.
Maye was selected in the first round of the draft after the team moved on from Mac Jones. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

For the past four seasons, the Buffalo Bills have lorded over the AFC East.

In 2024, that may not be the case.

While Buffalo deserves to be considered the favorite headed into the summer, the offseason has seen all three teams gain on the Bills to some extent.

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For the New York Jets, it was fixing the offensive line in front of Aaron Rodgers. For the Miami Dolphins, the goal was to shuffle the roster amid free-agent losses and bargain-bin signings. For the New England Patriots, it was a full-blown facelift.

Let’s run down the grades of each team’s offseason to this juncture.

New England Patriots

Offseason grade: B+

Key additions: QB Drake Maye, WR K.J. Osborn, QB Jacoby Brissett, WR Ja’Lynn Polk, WR Javon Baker

Key departures: OT Trent Brown, QB Mac Jones, WR DeVante Parker

A complete offensive overhaul was needed from new GM Eliot Wolf, and he didn’t disappoint.

While New England has a long road ahead, the Patriots did well to draft Maye in the first round before selecting Polk and Baker. New England was also able to re-sign Kendrick Bourne while adding Osborn from the Minnesota Vikings.

On the offensive line, New England brought back tackle Mike Onwenu while bookending him with rookie tackle Caeden Wallace. 

Defensively, New England should be better simply by getting healthier. Last season, the Patriots lost edge rusher Matthew Judon and star rookie corner Christian Gonzalez in the early going, hampering the unit throughout the campaign. With those two slated to be ready for the offseason program, look for immediate improvement.

The Patriots are also strong in the secondary after retaining safety Kyle Dugger, pairing him with Gabriel Peppers on the back end.

New York Jets

New York Jets receiver Mike Williams
The Jets added Williams as another weapon for Rodgers. / Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Offseason grade: C+

Key additions: WR Mike Williams, OT Morgan Moses, OT Olu Fashanu, OT Tyron Smith, G John Simpson, Edge Haason Reddick

Key departures: Edge Bryce Huff, DE John Franklin-Myers, QB Zach Wilson

Jets fans aren’t going to enjoy this grade, but the truth is a bit below the surface.

Yes, New York did well to upgrade the offensive line with three new starters in Simpson, Moses and Smith. However, both Smith and Moses are 33 years old and Smith has been habitually injured for the past half-decade. Their first-round pick, Fashanu, is also waiting, but how many starts will he make?

At receiver, the Jets added Williams, an oft-injured veteran coming off a torn ACL at 30 years old. Williams and the MetLife Stadium turf is concerning. 

That said, New York general manager Joe Douglas deserves credit for upgrading the team in multiple areas including at edge rusher, where the Jets lost Huff in free agency but traded for Reddick on the cheap.

The Jets are better ... but can they stay healthy?

Miami Dolphins

Offseason grade: C

Key additions: LB Jordyn Brooks, Edge Chop Robinson, S Jordan Poyer, TE Jonnu Smith, WR Odell Beckham Jr.

Key departures: LB Andrew Van Ginkel, CB Xavien Howard, G Robert Hunt, LB Jerome Baker, S Brandon Jones, DT Christian Wilkins

The Dolphins were in a tough cap position and paid the proverbial price.

Miami released Howard and then watched as Van Ginkel and Wilkins left in free agency. The Dolphins also lost Jones to the Denver Broncos, along with Hunt, who signed a $100 million deal with the Carolina Panthers.

Strapped with large contracts and a looming extension for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Miami’s front office largely made fringe signings, adding Brooks, Fuller, Poyer, Wynn and Smith.

The Dolphins’ draft netted a few potential contributors for this year, though, led by Robinson, who will likely see early playing time as Bradley Chubb (torn ACL) and Jaelen Phillips (Achilles) work their way back from late-season injuries. 

Buffalo Bills

Offseason grade: D

Key additions: WR Curtis Samuel, C Connor McGovern, WR Mack Hollins, WR Keon Coleman

Key departures: WR Stefon Diggs, S Jordan Poyer, S Micah Hyde, Edge Leonard Floyd, CB Tre’Davious White, CB Dane Jackson, WR Gabe Davis, C Mitch Morse

Analysis: The Bills are going through a makeover. While they still remain a contender to win the AFC East, being more than that could be a stretch unless Josh Allen stops the careless turnovers.

Over the past three months, the Bills either traded away, released or lost to free agency Diggs, Poyer, Hyde, Morse, Davis, Floyd, White and others. To replace them are a slew of younger, cheaper options, including Samuel and Coleman, Edwards, McGovern and Bishop.

For GM Brandon Beane, this was a needed reset based on whiffed draft classes, along with killer contracts handed out to Diggs and, even more so, edge rusher Von Miller.

Ultimately, Buffalo lost far more talent than it gained. And while that could be a good thing in the years ahead, it’s a rough reality for the current edition.

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Matt Verderame


Matt Verderame is an NFL staff writer for Sports Illustrated. He hosts The Matt Verderame Show on Patreon; previously wrote for FanSided and Awful Announcing; and is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association. A proud father of two girls and lover of all Italian food, Matt is an eternal defender of Rudy, the greatest football movie of all time.