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Bills 2022 offseason: Where does Buffalo stand at TE? – Bills Wire

Dawson Knox emerged as the tight end the Bills wanted when they drafted him in the third round in 2019. The player who never scored in college, found the end zone nine times in 2021 alone.
Buffalo has kept its tight end room light in recent seasons and they enter the 2022 offseason with three tight ends under contract for next season.
Knox might have entrenched himself as TE1 but the Bills weren’t so confident in 2019 seventh-round pick Tommy Sweeney. He was a healthy scratch in six of Buffalo’s last seven games.
Buffalo is in a prime position to add someone to their tight end room this offseason. Whether they use one of their draft picks or attack the free-agent market is unknown. General manager Brandon Beane did bring in veteran and former Wyoming tight end Jacob Hollister prior to the 2021 season but he was cut prior to opening day.
The Bills need to find a backup to Knox if they’re not confident in Sweeney. If not, one injury to the Bills starter and their offense is in trouble.
Here’s an offseason rundown for the Bills regarding the tight end position:
(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Buffalo has two tight ends on their roster for 2022 and one set for their practice squad.
Knox is the star of the room and set career-highs across the board during the 2021-22 season. He  hauled in 49 passes for 587 yards and nine touchdowns across 15 regular-season games. In the playoffs, Knox had seven catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns.
Knox has raised his floor three seasons in a row since being taken with the 96th overall pick in 2019. If not for a flurry of injuries in 2020, Knox would have increased his yards, receptions, and touchdowns in each season.
Buffalo has supreme confidence in the 25-year-old, often leaving him as the only active tight end on gamedays.
The same can’t be said for teammate Tommy Sweeney. Sweeney was taken in the same draft as Knox in 2019 but dropped to the seventh round out of Boston College.
Sweeney struggled to earn playing time his rookie season, appearing in six games, then missed his sophomore year with COVID-19 complications. Sweeney made the return to the field in 2021, appearing in 13 games with three starts. He has 17 catches, 158 yards, and one touchdown in 19 career games.
Quintin Morris signed a reserve/futures deal with the Bills in January. Morris is 23 and was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Bowling Green University. He joined the Bills for training camp and was waived but brought back a day later as a member of the practice squad. Morris did not appear in a game for Buffalo but was activated for the first time in Week 9 with Knox out with injury.
(AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)
The Bills have no tight ends slated to hit free agency this offseason with Morris already signed to a reserve/future contract.
With no free agents to sign the thing to watch for is what the Bills do with the contracts of Knox and Sweeney.
Both will be free agents in 2023 and at least one is due for a significant raise in pay. Buffalo likely doesn’t want Knox to hit the open market and will look to extend him this offseason. Another incentive for extending Knox this offseason is to front-load a contract before Josh Allen’s massive deal kicks in for 2023.
Knox is only making $2.745 million next season. A possible extension would more than double and likely triple that amount. A possible model is New England tight end Hunter Henry who inked a three-year, $37.5 million deal last spring.
Browns tight end David Njoku (85)  Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Can the Bills finally land their white whale Zach Ertz in free agency? Ertz is the top tight end on the market but after a year where he put up 74 receptions for 763 yards and five touchdowns, he’s out of Buffalo’s price range.
Buffalo isn’t looking for a player to replace Knox but they want to raise their floor at the position. Some backup tight ends on the market include Cleveland’s David Njoku, Arizona’s Maxx Williams, and Tennessee’s  Anthony Firkser.
Without the funds or need to attract a top free agent tight end the Bills could be bargain shopping. One player they could take a flyer on is 2018 fourth-round pick, Chris Herndon. Herndon had 502 receiving yards and four touchdowns his rookie season on the Jets in 2018 but hasn’t found that same success in three seasons since.
Buffalo could look toward a mid-round selection at tight end like Wisconsin’s Jake Ferguson or Cole Turner out of Nevada.
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The pair come in a package deal:
A below the surface position battle stands out:
Edmunds will always be an important piece for the #Bills defense:
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