Releasing Adalius Thomas Ranks as One of Five Best Offseason Moves for AFC East

Releasing Adalius Thomas Ranks as One of Five Best Offseason Moves for AFC East The AFC East has done its AL East impression this offseason, with three teams loading for bear and gearing up for a promising divisional race. To be sure, some moves were befuddling, but let's take a closer look at the five best personnel moves of the 2010 offseason.

5. Jets to star in Hard Knocks
We don’t yet know how the Jets' offseason moves will pan out. Will they get Antonio Cromartie and his flock of kids, Santonio Holmes and his iPod and LaDainian Tomlinson and his ego, or will they get Cromartie's shutdown skills, Holmes' Super Bowl ability and Tomlinson's edge? The beauty of that question is we'll get to see it play out on HBO — that is, of course, if the show doesn’t become a weekly hour-long feature on head coach Rex Ryan. And hey, we're perfectly fine with that, too.

4. Patriots release Adalius Thomas
It might be the most symbolic move of New England's great offseason tradition, as the organization has refocused its efforts to add quality locker room characters. Thomas was popular with his teammates, but he and Bill Belichick could no longer work together. The Patriots have added some really good people this offseason, including wide receivers Torry Holt and David Patten, tight end Alge Crumpler and defensive lineman Damione Lewis to go along with the good characters they found in the draft. It's a philosophy that worked earlier in the decade, and the Patriots have gone back to their roots.

3. Dolphins trade for Brandon Marshall
This was a gamble because of Marshall's laundry list of off-the-field transgressions, as well as his spats with head coaches Mike Shanahan and Josh McDaniels. But Marshall has freakish talent and is one of the three most physically imposing wide receivers in the league. He'll be a huge asset for quarterback Chad Henne's big arm, and Marshall will open up the passing game for the first time in a while in Miami.

2. Patriots re-sign Vince Wilfork
The Patriots have obviously developed a reputation for letting their young players walk when it's time to give them big money, and Wilfork sounded like he was preparing for the worst when he was originally facing the franchise tag. But the Pats quickly ended a potentially volatile situation and inked their big defensive lineman to a very fair, five-year, $40 million contract. There are only two or three other players in the league with Wilfork's size and skill, so losing him would have been nearly impossible to overcome.

1. Dolphins sign Karlos Dansby
Miami is overhauling its defense, and Dansby will be the new leader on that side of the ball. The middle linebacker signed in South Beach for a cool $43 million over five years, and he was on the short list of big-name prizes among free agents. The Dolphins landed their primary target, and Dansby will be the face of the defense.

Honorable Mention
Bills choose not to re-sign wide receiver Terrell Owens. … Patriots draft Florida inside linebacker Brandon Spikes. … Bills sign middle linebacker Andra Davis. … Dolphins re-sign Chad Pennington as their backup quarterback.

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