The NFL season has ended with the Los Angeles Rams on top of the food chain. It’s now time for executives and front offices to get into the trenches and make their teams better. The offseason is where championships are won and there are plenty of massively talented NFL free agents who can make teams better overnight. In this Tailgater Magazine series, we’ll be breaking down the needs of every team in the league. Let’s take a look at the AFC East team needs.
New England Patriots
Biggest Needs: CB, LB, WR
The Patriots are likely in a tough situation with older vets like S Devin McCourty, LB Dont’a Hightower, special teams ace Matthew Slater, and RB Brandon Bolden either leaving or retiring. The Pats still have some money to spend after last year’s big free agency, and I think it will likely be spent on the defensive side of the ball. If they make an offensive upgrade, it might be on a wide receiver after it seems to be clear that N’Keal Harry is a full bust for the Pats and QB Mac Jones needs someone other than TE Hunter Henry in the red zone. With Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen in the division, the Patriots must strengthen their secondary and retaining J.C. Jackson should be the first thing they do this offseason.
Biggest Needs: DL, WR, OL
The Bills have already had a tough offseason, losing a ton of top assistant coaches that followed coordinator Brian Daboll after he accepted the NY Giants head coaching job. This team was top-notch on both sides of the ball but if there was somewhere to look to upgrade, it’s at stopping the run. Defensive ends Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison are free agents, and they’ll likely try to retain them. They should try to get younger at cornerback as Micah Hyde is getting older and they experienced injuries last year that hurt them. And of course, making sure Josh Allen is happy is a key as well. He has favorite targets in Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, Dawson Knox and Gabriel Davis, but I don’t think it’s crazy to think that they go after a wide receiver in rounds two or three of the draft.
New York Jets
Biggest Needs: S, WR, CB
Robert Saleh went an offensive route in his first draft as head coach, but after having the worst defense in the league in 2021, I’m sure the defensive-minded coach is itching to upgrade. On offense, they need a top option at wide receiver, and with money to spend, they can throw dollars at guys like Mike Williams, Chris Godwin or Allen Robinson. The jury is still out on QB Zach Wilson after a dismal rookie season, but a top-notch receiver should help. But getting help at cornerback and safety is pivotal. If they can lure someone like Stephon Gilmore and Jessie Bates III away from their current teams, they should lay out some cash to do so. Saleh is a proven defensive guru, but he needs the right players. I am sure he will want to mold some of his own guys through the draft, but New York has a ton of money to spend, and they should be willing to do it.
Biggest Needs: RB, T, G
The Dolphins have one of the top defenses in the league and after hiring Mike McDaniel to replace Brian Flores as coach, they will be focused on making QB Tua Tagovailoa better. There have been lots of rumors linking RB Leonard Fournette to the Fins and upgrading their running game must be the number one priority. They were one of the worst units in that regard in 2021. Upgrading the offensive line is a crucial part of that. Miami has a ton of money to spend, and they should be making big moves to go after top free agents like T Terron Armstead and G Laken Tomlinson right away. They have a late pick in the first round this year which will likely be spent on a tight end or the offensive line.