All four teams start camp July 25.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (14-5)
OPEN CAMP: July 25, Foxborough, Massachusetts.
LAST YEAR: Won their sixth NFL title since 2001 season, beating Rams 13-3 in lowest-scoring Super Bowl. Started season 1-2, with receiver Julian Edelman serving four-game PED suspension. Receiver Josh Gordon abruptly left team. But won next six, and eight of next nine games to claim 10th straight AFC East title. Beat Chargers and Chiefs in playoffs.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: DL Michael Bennett, WR Demaryius Thomas, WR N'Keal Harry, TE Ben Watson, LB Jamie Collins.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: TE Rob Gronkowski, DL Trey Flowers, WR Chris Hogan, OL Trent Brown, defensive coordinator Brian Flores.
CAMP NEEDS: Keep Tom Brady healthy in year he will turn 42, which means lots of time on sideline in preseason. Find him some receivers, including tight end to replace Gronkowski.
EXPECTATIONS: If Patriots don't win 12 games, AFC East and seventh Super Bowl, it will be disappointment.
MIAMI DOLPHINS (7-9)
OPEN CAMP: July 25, Davie, Florida
LAST YEAR: Dolphins made it 18 consecutive seasons without postseason victory. They ranked 31st in offense, and defense was also awful, allowing franchise-record 6,257 yards. That prompted owner Stephen Ross to fire coach Adam Gase and hire Patriots defensive play caller Brian Flores as replacement. Ross then ordered roster overhaul and acknowledged it may take several seasons to build winner. Leading list of players departing was Ryan Tannehill, who became Miami's QB as rookie in 2012 and never took postseason snap.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: QBs Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen, DTs Christian Wilkins and Adolphus Washington, T Jordan Mills, OLB Nate Orchard, G Kyle Fuller, TE Dwayne Allen, RB Mark Walton, WR Ricardo Louis.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: QBs Ryan Tannehill, David Fales and Brock Osweiler, DEs Cameron Wake, William Hayes, Andre Branch, and Robert Quinn, RBs Frank Gore, Brandon Bolden and Senorise Perry, Ts Sam Young and Ja'Wuan James, WRs Danny Amendola and Leonte Carroo, G Josh Sitton, OL Ted Larsen, LB Stephone Anthony, TEs A.J. Derby and MarQueis Gray, Cs Travis Swanson and Jake Brendel.
CAMP NEEDS: Competition for QB job will be front and center, with Fitzpatrick more likely to start opener, but Rosen certain to play at some point. Fitzpatrick, entering 15th NFL season, will become first player to throw pass for eight teams. Rosen will try to show Cardinals made mistake when they jettisoned him one year after he was first-round draft pick. There's also plenty of competition at other positions, especially up front on both sides of ball. While those battles play out, Flores will try to establish winning culture, even though playoff contention is likely at least couple of years away.
EXPECTATIONS: Dolphins say they won't try to lose in 2019, but oddsmakers give them 500-1 chance to win Super Bowl in Miami in February, and no team is bigger long shot. Chances are somewhat better Rosen shows signs of becoming franchise QB. If not, lots of losing would leave Dolphins in position to take quarterback early in 2020 draft.
BUFFALO BILLS (6-10)
OPEN CAMP: July 25, Pittsford, New York
LAST YEAR: Focus on building through youth and freeing up salary cap space led to predictable struggles, reflected in Buffalo's 2-7 start one year after sneaking into playoffs to end 17-season drought. Though defense allowed second-fewest yards in NFL, offense endured ups and downs under rookie starting QB Josh Allen, and amid patchwork line and untested group of receivers. Allen went 2-3 before missing four games with sprained right throwing arm, and then displayed progress in closing season 3-3. Running back LeSean McCoy showed signs of aging (he turned 30) by finishing with 514 yards rushing and 752 yards from scrimmage — both career lows.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: C Mitch Morse, WRs Cole Beasley and John Brown, rookie DT Ed Oliver, RBs Frank Gore and T.J. Yeldon, TE Tyler Kroft, CBs Kevin Johnson and EJ Gaines, rookie OT Cody Ford, OLs Ty Nsekhe, Jon Feliciano and Spencer Long, WR/return specialist Andre Roberts, and quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: DT Kyle Williams, QB Derek Anderson, TE Charles Clay, RB Chris Ivory, OLs Ryan Groy and John Miller.
CAMP NEEDS: Key emphasis on establishing chemistry for what will be mostly retooled offense which could feature as many as eight new starters, including revamped line. Allen needs to continue developing as passer, and build rapport with Beasley, who missed most of spring recovering from core muscle surgery.
EXPECTATIONS: After Bills took developmental step back last year, expectations are rising with GM Brandon Beane using his wealth of salary cap space to address numerous needs. A nine-win finish is not out of question, though much depends on how quickly newcomers jell, and so long as Allen continues showing progress given how much team invested in offensive upgrades.
NEW YORK JETS (4-12)
OPEN CAMP: July 25, Atlantic Health Jets Training Center, Florham Park, New Jersey.
LAST YEAR: Another poor showing cost coach Todd Bowles his job — and, months later, general manager Mike Maccagnan was gone, too. Jets failed to make playoffs in four straight seasons under Bowles and Maccagnan, so team chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson turned to Adam Gase as new coach when season ended. Johnson then made stunning move to fire Maccagnan in May, just weeks after GM oversaw draft and free agency period. Johnson hired touted former Eagles executive Joe Douglas to take over roster. Rookie QB Sam Darnold struggled early in 2018, injured foot and missed three games. Darnold came back with impressive finish in final four games, throwing six TDs and just one INT with 64% completion percentage. Second-year safety Jamal Adams blossomed into one of league's best while being selected to first Pro Bowl. Another bright spot was play of Jets' long-beleaguered special teams, which produced Pro Bowl picks in kick returner Andre Roberts and kicker Jason Myers — who both later left in free agency.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: Douglas, Gase, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, RB Le'Veon Bell, LB C.J. Mosley, WR Jamison Crowder, LG Kelechi Osemele, rookie DL Quinnen Williams, CB Brian Poole, WR-RB Ty Montgomery, rookie OLB Jachai Polite, WR Josh Bellamy, QB Trevor Siemian, K Chandler Catanzaro.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: WR-KR Roberts, K Myers, RB Isaiah Crowell, LG James Carpenter, CB Buster Skrine, CB Morris Claiborne, S Terrence Brooks.
CAMP NEEDS: Gase loves Darnold's natural instincts on field, so all eyes will be on how they work together — with Darnold's continued development priority No. 1. Bell will also be huge focus after he sat out last season with Steelers in contract dispute. He was at mandatory minicamp, but skipped voluntary workouts to work with personal trainer. Key will be how Gase incorporates Bell into offense, and how offensive line builds comfort level with his patient running style. Other positions to monitor: center, with Jonotthan Harrison the apparent starter; cornerback, with Trumaine Johnson coming off bad first year with Jets and career backup Darryl Roberts slated to start; and outside linebacker with Polite, Jordan Jenkins and Brandon Copeland all looking to provide consistent pass rush. Rookie Quinnen Williams, No. 3 overall pick, has chance to be immediate starter.
EXPECTATIONS: There's revitalized feeling around team with influx of lots of new faces, from GM to coach to all over roster. Hope is that dynamic between Gase and Darnold will be overwhelmingly positive, and having Bell in backfield could also have major effect on young QB's development. There are lots of questions heading into camp, but Jets have enough talented pieces to cause optimism about at least making run for first playoff berth since 2010 season.
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