On day two of the 2019 NFL draft, Bills general manager Brandon Beane did not want to wait until day three and hope that Ole Miss tight end prospect Dawson Knox would still be on the board. He parted with a pair of fourth-round draft choices to trade up into the third round to select him 96th overall. Beane chose not to wait again on Knox as he was on the cusp of entering the final year of his rookie contract this fall.
On Wednesday, the day before the team's season opener in Los Angeles, the Bills signed Knox to a four-year contract extension, locking up the tight end through the 2026 season.
Knox explained during training camp he made it clear to team management he wanted to remain a Bills long after his rookie contract expired at the close of this season.
"I want to be here," Knox said. "I bought a house here a few months ago, so I want to be here as long as I can."
That feeling for Knox was only reinforced by the outpouring of support from Buffalo and the team's fan base after the tragic passing of his younger brother, Luke, last month. The Bills fan base raised over $200,000 in his brother's name for the P.U.N.T. Foundation, a cause for pediatric cancer patients that Knox has supported since his rookie season.
"This is such an incredible city with such an incredible fan base and people, and it really truly does feel like home," Knox said. "I know I've said that before, but I kind of realized that for the first time when I came back up here after everything that it really does feel like a second home to me."
Knox, who turns 26 in November, is coming off a breakout season in 2021 when he posted career highs across the board in receptions (49), receiving yards (583), and touchdowns (9). His nine touchdowns set a single season record for a Bills tight end and ranked second on the team to Stefon Diggs (10).
The fourth-year player is hoping to build on his successful 2021 campaign this fall.
"The tight end position just kind of needs to be unselfish in just doing whatever it takes to get the team a win," Knox said. "But I'd also love to continue contributing to the passing game as well just because I know the weapon that I can be and I kind of want to use last year as a foundation going forward."