June 25, 2024

The Buffalo Bills made numerous roster changes during the 2024 NFL offseason, letting Micah Hyde and Gabriel Davis leave as free agents and releasing Jordan Poyer, Mitch Morse, and Tre’Davious White. They also traded four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans. While these moves seemed to conclude their roster shakeup, Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport has a different perspective.

In a recent article, Davenport suggested that the Bills should consider trading sixth-year tight end Dawson Knox before the 2024 NFL season starts. He cited Knox’s contract and the rise of Dalton Kincaid as reasons for this potential move.

Bills TE Dawson Knox to have surgery on injured wrist, no timetable for  return - Yahoo Sports

“In both 2021 and 2022, Knox flirted with 50 catches and topped 500 receiving yards,” Davenport wrote. “He had 15 receiving touchdowns over that span. But with Dalton Kincaid’s emergence at tight end last season, Knox’s numbers plummeted—his snap count dropped by 20 percent, and he caught just 22 passes for 186 yards and two scores in 12 games.”

Knox’s 2023 season saw career lows in receptions, targets, and receiving yards due to a wrist injury limiting him to 12 regular season games. Despite this, Knox has a strong connection with quarterback Josh Allen, with 266 targets and 22 receiving touchdowns throughout his career. This rapport might be crucial as the team adjusts to new wide receivers Curtis Samuel and rookie Keon Coleman, making Knox’s presence valuable for maintaining stability in the offense.

Davenport acknowledged Knox’s chemistry with Allen but argued that trading Knox could still benefit Buffalo.

“Now, given the losses the Bills suffered at wide receiver this season, dealing a proven pass-catcher may seem unwise,” Davenport wrote. “But it’s clear that Knox has given way to Kincaid as the team’s No. 1 tight end. Knox’s injury last year played a part, but when Joe Brady took over as offensive coordinator in Buffalo, the team ran fewer ‘12’ personnel (two tight end) sets.

“Knox may be second-fiddle now in Western New York, but he would be the best tight end on more than a few NFL teams, including some with postseason aspirations in 2024. After re-working his contract, Knox has a reasonable cap hit of just $7.7 million in 2024, but it balloons to over $14 million in 2025—a signal that this could be his final season with the team.”

While trading Knox might seem plausible, it’s unlikely unless there’s a significant change in circumstances. The Bills would only save about $2.7 million in salary cap space by trading him, and his presence is more beneficial than marginal financial flexibility. General manager Brandon Beane has indicated that Knox will play a key role in the offense alongside Kincaid. In a recent interview on The Athletic Football Show, Beane highlighted the importance of their tight ends in the passing game, similar to how the Chiefs rely on Travis Kelce.

ESPN: NFL players vote Buffalo Bills' Dawson Knox in top-10 TEs in NFL

“The other thing people are just looking at is the people that line up in the wide receiver room, but our tight ends, they can catch the ball too,” Beane said. “Those guys are heavily involved in the passing game with Dawson [Knox] and Dalton Kincaid. Don’t forget those guys. I would say if you look at the Chiefs run, they’ve done a good job, I would say that thing is built around—it’s obviously built around [Patrick] Mahomes—but the receiving corps, it starts with [Travis Kelce].”

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