The AFC East Notebook

All the news, views and insight from around the AFC.

Things have remained pretty consistent in the AFC East this summer. Logan Mankins and the New England Patriots have yet to make any progress on a new contract, Dolphins players continue to make non-sports-related news, and the biggest story Bills-related (which is not of much interest in Buffalo) is Terrell Owens' ongoing unemployment. In other words, things are going pretty well in Buffalo.

Mankins, a restricted free agent, continues to hold out as he seeks a deal similar to the Saints' Jarhi Evans. Evans was also a restricted free agent until New Orleans gave him a multi-year deal that is estimated to exceed $20 million in the first three years.

Other reports out of New England suggest that Tom Brady will not hold out entering the final year of his contract. Since Brady has always maintained a team-oriented attitude and clearly embraces the role of a leader as New England's signal caller, it is hard to believe he won't be around for the opening of training camp. He is due $3.5 million in base salary this season, and, despite his immense impact on the organization over the past decade, the Patriots' close-to-the-vest approach here is certainly not surprising.

The Miami Herald reported that Dolphins receiver Brian Hartline could be charged with leaving the scene of an accident after a vehicle registered under his name was found abandoned after an early-morning crash on July 3. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Hartline's pickup truck ran off the road and hit a parked Cadillac Escalade. Police are still investigating who was driving the vehicle, since no one was at the scene of the accident when troopers arrived.

Ronnie Brown also made news last week when he was granted a continuance in his DUI case from March. The date was moved to Thursday, Sept. 2 – the day of the Dolphins' first preseason game. The Herald reported that Brown's attorney said Brown will either accept a plea bargain or see that the case goes to trial, adding that Brown will not miss any time in practice or games since he isn't required to be present for the decision… Also, the state attorney's office in Broward County, Fla. filed felony aggravated battery charges against Miami defensive end Phillip Merling, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Additionally, former Dolphin Jason Ferguson, who was drafted by and played eight seasons with the New York Jets, announced his retirement from the NFL last week. The defensive tackle was set to face an eight-game suspension to start the 2010 season after failing his second drug test for performance-enhancing drugs.

In more positive news, the Dolphins have begun negotiating the contracts of first and second-round picks Jared Odrick and Koa Misi, respectively. Miami signed third-round guard John Jerry to a four-year, $2.64 million contract.

The Buffalo Bills signed third-round draft pick Alex Carrington, a defensive end, to a four-year contract. New England signed seventh-round quarterback Zac Robinson to a four-year contract.'s Nick St. Denis writes the weekly AFC East Notebook and the NFL Notebook.

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