A day after head coach Sean McDermott signed a multi-year contract extension, one of the building blocks that has been with him from the start also had his long-term future locked up.
Offensive tackle Dion Dawkins agreed to terms on a four-year contract extension Thursday that runs through the 2024 season.
"It just means that hard work definitely pays off," said Dawkins after signing the deal. "Through all the mistakes and all the growth, all the ups and downs I have an organization that believes in me and it starts from the Pegulas, down to the GM, down to the head coach, down to my position coach then to mom and pop, and it's just a blessing."
Dawkins, who was entering the final year of his rookie contract, has been the team's starting left tackle for the better part of his first three NFL seasons. He has 43 starts in 48 games as he has never missed a regular season contest in his career.
Entrusted with protecting Josh Allen's blind side for the foreseeable future as a franchise left tackle, Dawkins has no intentions of resting on his laurels now that he's been paid.
"First of all, I have to earn it," he said. "Just because (the contract) is there, it doesn't mean that it can't disappear. And I know that about this league. And I don't take it for granted. Having this contract, and it's only been hours, but it's made me all the more hungry. We hear about guys all of the time that get paid, and then they fall off. And believe me, I'm going to say it. That will not be me.
"I will do anything and everything to fight, so it will never be me. I'm going to earn every bit of this contract. And I'm going to do anything and everything I can to help this program, this organization win on the field and off."
A second-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft, Dawkins is the first in Buffalo's inaugural draft class under Sean McDermott to sign a long-term contract extension. Seeing his head coach locked up long term a day before he signed his deal has only reinforced Dawkins' faith in what is being built at One Bills Drive.
"McDermott came in here and he just preached 'Trust the Process,' 'Respect the Process,' respect your peers and believe in yourself. To see that the Pegulas had locked in the head of the spear, which is Sean McDermott, it just shows that we're all preaching what we say. We're just taking it one step at a time and I'm just glad that they had me in their vision and I'm a piece to the puzzle."