“We just never really got that position,” Beane said. “At the end of the year, I thought we did a little bit, Dawson started to get his groove. But it was never where the opposing defense was like, ‘man, we’ve got to stop their tight ends from going off.’ So we’ll into look to that group.
“At the end of the day, we’d love to have a guy like what we just faced in Kansas City — they don’t come very often. But that’s what we want. We’ve got some guys here we want to continue to develop and see what happens. Obviously, if there’s ways to add competition, whether that’s in free agency or the draft, we would do that, as well.”
Buffalo’s tight ends, to be fair, dealt with adversity this past season.
Knox, 24, entered the season on the heels of a promising rookie campaign, in which he dropped a league-high 20% of his passes but flashed some playmaking ability that enticed Beane to trade up for him in 2019. Although his drop percentage declined significantly, Knox missed four games in 2020 as he battled a calf injury and COVID-19, and thus struggled to find his rhythm.
Kroft, on the other hand, was twice placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list — once as a close-contact and again after registering a positive test. He played 10 games but was a healthy scratch when all the Bills’ tight ends were healthy.
Beane mentioned adding competition this offseason and there are several options.
Buffalo should keep tabs on a couple of big-name veterans this offseason, starting with Tennessee Titans tight end Jonnu Smith, who essentially matched the Bills tight ends’ production by himself this past season (he had 41 catches, 448 yards and eight touchdowns). Spotrac lists Smith’s market value at $8 million per year, which is on the higher end of affordability for Buffalo this offseason. With the NFL salary cap set to be no lower than $180 million, the Bills could be anywhere between $1 million over the cap and roughly $4 million under it, factoring in some of the Bills’ decisions on their own free agents. Buffalo’s in Smith could depend on how badly it wants to upgrade the position.
Expect Buffalo Bills' tight end room to feature new faces in 2021
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