Having him and Darrelle Revis on the same defense would be a nightmare for any quarterback in the league. Thankfully, we don't need to worry about that anymore.
The Jets have now signed his replacement, Antonio Cromartie, and many have just assumed that they have the best defense in the AFC East, and maybe even in the AFC. However, if one looks closer to the defenses' of the Dolphins, Jets, Patriots, and Bills, they may not agree with their original assumption.
We'll start with the easiest one: The Buffalo Bills.
Aside from Kyle Williams and Jairus Byrd, the Bills have almost no elite talent on the defensive side of the ball. Byrd also took major steps backwards this past season, and he needs to try and return to his rookie form if he can be considered one of the better safeties in the NFL.
While Leodis McKelvin remains underrated, he does not possess enough skill to help the cornerbacks on the Bills be considered a tandem to be reckoned with.
The Bills need more talent on defense, and as a result, are the worst defense in the AFC East.
Next we will move on to the New England Patriots.
The Patriots are a little difficult to rank, because of the rumors that they are changing to the 4-3 defense, which would make sense with their recent acquisition of Albert Haynesworth.
With change comes problems: any team that is changing their formation will run into problems on the defensive line and linebackers who are changing positions. Even if Albert Haynesworth, who is out of shape and hasn't played quality football since 2009, can work and play well with Vince Wilfork, the Patriots will still have difficulty finding pass-rushers.
It will also be difficult to find outside linebackers that can play next to Jerod Mayo who have experience in the 4-3.
Lastly, the odds of Devin McCourty having the same luck he had last year is marginal, and while I expect him to have a good season, I don't expect the same production from his rookie year.
Due to a scheme change and lack of pass rush, the Patriots' defense comes in as the third best defense in the AFC East.
As a shocker to many, the next team we will look at is the New York Jets.
While the majority of the teams in the AFC East have players that are moving towards their prime, the Jets defense mainly consists of players who are passed it.
Players like Sione Pouha, Calvin Pace, Bart Scott, and Bryan Thomas all are at least at the age of 30-years-old, and the Jets aren't getting any younger. Additionally, Shaun Ellis is a free agent and it doesn't seem as if the Jets have made him a priority in their offseason.
As a result, the Jets need defensive ends. Muhammad Wilkerson will most likely need to start from day one, which he may find difficult.
Furthermore, while the Jets may have a deadly tandem of cornerbacks (Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cormartie), their safety position needs help. While Jim Leonhard may be a hard hitter, him and Eric Smith will have difficulty without the aid of Nnamdi Asomugha, who doesn't usually need safety over the top. They're also both 28-years-old, and the Jets should look to improve this position.
Because of the aging Jets defense, they only come in as the second best defense in the AFC East.
And lastly, the title of having the Best defense in the AFC Eeast goes to the Miami Dolphins.
The Dolphins have one of the youngest defense in the NFL, and almost all of their defenders are entering their prime.
We'll start with the defensive line.
Last year, Paul Soliai transformed his NFL career by showing that he is one of the best nose tackles in the NFL; entering a year in which he has the franchise tag placed on him, he should perform at the top of his game.
Players such as Kendall Langford, Tony McDaniel, and Jared Odrick have a lot of potential, and Randy Starks can serve as veteran leadership for the both of them.
Cameron Wake showed just how dominant he was last year, and everyone expects to see improvement from him this year. Koa Misi had a solid rookie year, while Karlos Dansby proved he was worth his contract even though he was injured.
The defensive backfield of the Miami Dolphins has showed tons of growth over that past year, and I expect it to continue this year.
Vontae Davis, one of the most underrated players in the NFL, and Sean Smith are going to have a breakout year and prove that they are a pair of cornerbacks that shouldn't be challenged.
Yeremiah Bell is also consistent, and can help teach Chris Clemons and Reshad Jones, whom already have the physical tools and potential to become dominant players at their positions.
With a strong defense and tons of depth that has the majority of its players entering their prime, the Miami Dolphins have the best defense in the AFC East, and have one of the best defenses in the NFL.
Have a different opinion? Let me know by voting on the poll and giving your reasons and analysis in the comment section.