Now that Bill Belichick is out of the picture, will the New England Patriots spend some money? What will the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins do to bolster their squads after getting ousted in the 2023 NFL playoffs? And can the New York Jets build a contender around Aaron Rodgers?
All questions fans of these AFC East teams will be watching as the NFL concludes at the end of Super Bowl LVIII and moves into the new league year in March. With key needs entering free agency and the 2024 NFL Draft, each team’s approach will depend on which players they are able to retain prior to or during free agency.
As we know, the NFL is a business and players will move, but which free agent must each team re-sign at all costs? Let’s take a spin around the AFC East.
Buffalo Bills: Gabe Davis, WR
The Bills have several key free agents including safety Micah Hyde and defensive tackle DaQuan Jones that they will need to make decisions on. Bills fans may even say these defensive studs are more important than the player I’m naming here and that is wide receiver Gabe Davis.
Just 24 years old, Davis has been a key target of Josh Allen the past few seasons despite a dip in production in 2023. Still, the Central Florida product hauled in 45 receptions for 746 yards and 7 touchdowns. Given the Bills’ cap situation, retaining Davis may be lower on the list considering the team has Stefon Diggs and two young tight ends in Dalton Kincaid and Dawson Knox anchoring the offense. But it is the uncertainly surrounding Diggs and his future in Buffalo that makes a Davis re-signing more important.
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Obviously, the Bills can turn to the draft for a free agent or lure a cheaper option in free agency, but keeping an Allen top target intact in case the team needs to move on from Diggs is something to think about.
As far as Davis wanting to return, the young receiver wants to test free agency, but not ruling out a return to the Bills.
“Always open to coming back; I mean this is my first place, I’ve been with the Bills for the past four years,” Davis said. “I love Buffalo, I love everything about it. But I feel like I definitely gotta go to March and see the other options as well. I feel like that’s the business side of it and I gotta take advantage of it.”
In his first four seasons in the NFL, Davis caught 163 passes for 2,730 yards and 27 touchdowns. There will be teams in the open market interested, but will he be too expensive to return to Buffalo?