Spagnulolo hire impacts AFC East

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
The St. Louis Rams' hiring of Steve Spagnuolo will have implications for the AFC East.

The most obvious is that Rex Ryan becomes the clear frontrunner for the New York Jets' vacancy.

Several media outlets previously reported Ryan was the preferred candidate, but now we know two things:

a) He no longer has the Rams as an option, and

b) The Jets' other top applicant now is off the board.

Spagnuolo had a secret meeting with Jets owner Woody Johnson on Tuesday.

Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer still is being mentioned as a possibility to replace Eric Mangini, but his credentials don't stack up next to Ryan's.

Spagnuolo to St. Louis also means Miami Dolphins secondary coach Todd Bowles likely will stick around. Bowles supposedly interviewed well for the Rams, Denver Broncos and Detroit Lions vacancies, but didn't get a new gig.

With Bowles around, the Dolphins could better withstand a Paul Pasqualoni departure. NFL Network's Adam Schefter reported the Dolphins' defensive coordinator was a "person of interest" for the Kansas City Chiefs if they decide to get rid of Herm Edwards.

If Pasqualoni were to leave the Dolphins, then Bowles would be the obvious replacement.