ESPN writers mainly favor Bills as team to beat in AFC East over next few seasons

Three of the four writers are picking the Bills to still be atop the division in 2024

The Buffalo Bills figure to be the team to beat in the AFC East for the 2021 season, but what about three years down the road?

That was one of the questions posed to the ESPN AFC East beat writers over the weekend.

While the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots all have young quarterbacks in place, the writers still seem to think the Bills will still be there and don't have much faith in the Patriots.

Here's what they had to say:

Mac Jones and Josh McDaniels
Mac Jones and Josh McDaniels Photo credit Paul Rutherford - USA TODAY Sports

ESPN Patriots beat reporter Mike Reiss: Buffalo Bills

"Once the Bills re-sign quarterback Allen and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds -- and I view those moves as more of "when" than "if" -- it will further solidify them as the franchise with the best three-year outlook. Put me down for the Bills, but with this caveat: I believe the Patriots will be sending a big thank-you note to the San Francisco 49ers for passing on Jones with the No. 3 overall draft pick. He slid all the way to New England at No. 15 and has made a strong first impression on coaches and players. If he emerges as the quarterback of the future as the Patriots believe he can, New England's three-year outlook could threaten Buffalo's."

Zach Wilson
Zach Wilson Photo credit John Jones - USA TODAY Sports

ESPN Jets beat reporter Rich Cimini: Buffalo Bills

"I can't believe I'm not picking the Patriots out of pure habit, but will Belichick even be around in three years? Is Jones the answer at quarterback? Is Wilson the answer for the Jets? Tagovailoa for Miami? The Bills have a known quantity at quarterback (and coach), which makes this an easy choice. They also have a good nucleus of young players, which means they should sustain their momentum. I like what the Jets are building with Saleh, who has the traits to be a really good coach, but the roster still has a ways to go. We'll see. If Saleh and Wilson crush their honeymoon season, I might have a different answer in 2022."

Josh Allen
Josh Allen Photo credit Jamie Germano - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle via USA TODAY Sports

ESPN Bills beat reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques: Buffalo Bills

"The Bills are the kings of the AFC East, and here's the thing: Most of their cornerstones have either been drafted over the past few years or are in their athletic prime. Allen might get an extension that rivals Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes' in length. Diggs, cornerback Tre'Davious White, left tackle Dion Dawkins and Milano are all signed for the foreseeable future, and Edmunds will be, too -- maybe as early as this summer. General manager Brandon Beane has a strong track record in the NFL draft, and word is spreading that Buffalo is a place to be for veterans who want to win. Now, that pendulum can swing south if the Dolphins and Tagovailoa take the next step, but as long as Allen is throwing passes in Orchard Park, New York, the Bills will be a force."

Tua Tagovailoa
Tua Tagovailoa Photo credit Sam Navarro - USA TODAY Sports

ESPN Dolphins beat reporter Cameron Wolfe: Miami Dolphins

"Miami will be the team to beat in 2024. There's little doubt the Bills reign right now, but I'm betting on Tagovailoa to ascend to being the quarterback the Dolphins drafted him to be last year. The Dolphins have a higher ceiling and better championship potential than any team in this division. Miami has drafted nine players in the top two rounds over the past two drafts, with extra picks coming in 2022 and 2023. That young core, pairing with an already talented roster, will rise above Buffalo within the next three seasons."

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