The "Face of the Franchise" is staying in Buffalo.
Isaiah McKenzie was in town on Monday to put pen to paper and sign a new two-year deal with the team. He went through this process last offseason and both years his message has been clear that he wants to stay in Buffalo.
"For me, I would say I love being here," McKenzie said via Zoom. "For me and my life, it's always been about loyalty. I've had the same trainer since ninth grade, I've had the same friends since five years old. For me, it's about loyalty. And the Buffalo Bills have been loyal to me, and I want to stay loyal to them.
"… I just feel like this is the place I want to be. And if we could get it done before – we got it done before free agency, that's all I wanted. I don't want to be anywhere else. I want to be here, so I'm glad we could make that happen.
Every season since joining the team in 2018, McKenzie has re-established himself as a player and found new ways to contribute to this Bills team. In 2021, McKenzie used his speed as a receiver, rusher, and returner to make the most of his opportunities. Now he's cashed in on a payday in back-to-back offseasons.
"It feels good," McKenzie said. "I worked through it, grinded through it, and now I'm here. I get some security, get some stability, and I'm excited. I just want to keep it going. Take it one day at a time, one practice at a time, one game at a time, and just win some football games."
For McKenzie, Brian Daboll was the only offensive coordinator he's played for in Buffalo. With Daboll now the head coach of the New York Giants, McKenzie will have to build on his relationship with newly promoted offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey. McKenzie is excited to see how things fall into place and how he fits into Dorsey's offense.
"I feel like Dabs (Brian Daboll) set a good foundation for us on the offensive side of the ball. With Ken Dorsey now being the offensive coordinator, I don't think that's going to change. And we still got Josh, still got our guys and we are probably going to add more pieces and things like that. But we only can get better from here and that's what we want to do is get better. Ken Dorsey is going to do a great job with the offense, I believe in him and I'm pretty sure everyone else believes in him. I don't think we are going to skip a beat."
After McKenzie made the decision to re-sign with the team, he got a lot of calls from his Bills family. Teammates Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, Isaiah Hodgins, and his position coach Chad Hall all called to congratulate him. McKenzie said during his press conference that some of his teammates called for another reason.
"Diggs said 'send me $200 because I had something to do with it.'" McKenzie said with a big smile. "I was like 'yeah, I was like now I can send you $200, a couple years ago, I probably couldn't but now I can send it.' That's probably the funniest thing. I haven't gotten all the phone calls yet. But I think Isaiah Hodgins said I owed him a pair of shoes. All of a sudden, I owe people money for some reason."