Buffalo Bills, TE Dawson Knox reach agreement on four-year extension

The Buffalo Bills are taking care of one of Josh Allen's favorite targets just before the season is set to begin, reaching an agreement on a four-year extension with tight end Dawson Knox, it was announced Wednesday.

The deal is for $53.6 million and includes $31 million guaranteed, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. It makes him one of the highest-paid tight ends in the league.

"Very, very excited. Just very thankful to the Pegulas and to [general manager Brandon] Beane and just my agent for getting everything going," Knox said Wednesday. "... I mean, I love the city of Buffalo. It couldn't be a better football city. I fell in love with the fans, with just the culture here. So I knew I wanted to be here for as long as I possibly could be. I couldn't be more excited to lock this deal in."

Knox, who was scheduled to hit free agency after the 2022 season, set career highs last season with 49 catches for 587 yards, 9 touchdowns and 31 first-down receptions.

He was the team's second-most targeted player in the red zone last year (18) behind only wide receiver Stefon Diggs.

"[Knox] just works his tail off. He's a guy I respect so much because every time he steps foot in the field, he's going 100% and I love that about him," offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey said. "He's awesome inside the building, always locked in on meetings, eager to learn, asking questions, wanting to be coached, and willing to take coaching."

Prior to 2021, he had caught a combined five receiving touchdowns in his career. In three seasons with the Bills, the former third-round draft pick out of Ole Miss has caught 101 passes for 1,263 yards and 14 TDs.

"I want to be here. I bought a house here a few months ago, not because I want to be gone in a year," Knox said during training camp. "So, I want to be here as long as I can, but I know a lot of that stuff is out of my hands with salary cap. I try not to read into all that too much, but I've definitely communicated that I want to be here for an extended amount of time, so whether that's getting the extension now or later, I definitely hope that happens."

The Bills open the season against the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night.

The tight end spent time away from the Bills after the death of his 22-year-old brother, Luke Knox, a linebacker at Florida International, on Aug. 17. Dawson Knox returned to the Bills on Aug. 23, and the team held a moment of silence for his brother prior to their second preseason game.

Bills fans raised over $250,000 for the P.U.N.T. Pediatric Cancer Collaborative in Luke Knox's honor, largely in donations of $16.88 -- representing the jersey numbers of both brothers.

"Obviously it's been an emotional roller coaster," Knox said Wednesday. "But I think my brother has been my ... he was my No. 1 supporter. He couldn't be more happy anytime I was having success. He came to as many games as he could as soon as his college games were over. I do believe that he's up in heaven right now and he couldn't be happier that this is done.

"... So this is for him, too. I know he wanted me to give it my all in everything I did. So there's a little extra motivation for me there this year because I know he'll be able to be watching. But I know that he's always been my biggest supporter and he wants me to go out and be the best player and be the best man I possibly can be."

The Bills have a number of players to make decisions about over the next few months, including linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who is set to hit free agency in 2023, and safety Jordan Poyer, who requested a contract extension during the offseason.

General manager Brandon Beane has often signed players to extensions close to the start of the season or early in the year. Last season, nickelback Taron Johnson was signed to a three-year extension in early October.