The Bills signed Dion Dawkins to a four-year, $60 million extension (with a reported $34 million in guaranteed money) on Aug. 13 that is set to keep the left tackle under contract through the 2024 season. For a player who many projected to be a guard at the NFL level, this was a watershed moment in his career.
“It’s definitely time to go out there and earn every penny of it and just to believe in yourself and to continue to take it one day at a time,” Dawkins said. “It just gives me that much more respect and it just shows that the respect that they had for myself that, listen, this is our franchise tackle and Dion Dawkins is a piece that we can build around and we can continue to win games with. It means a lot to myself, it means a lot to being a pro. I have a billionaire organization that believes in the kid from Rahway, from Temple, the second-round draft pick, the kid that nobody thought could be a left tackle. And here I am.”
Dawkins, 26, has established himself as one of the best young tackles in the league in recent seasons. He did an outstanding job of protecting Josh Allen’s blind side in 2019 and was a big part of the team’s impressive turnaround on the offensive line.
The offensive lineman is thrilled that he’ll continue to call Buffalo home, because this is where he wanted to remain. He was entering the final year of his rookie deal.
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TRACKING TRAINING CAMP
Bills Digest was there for all the big moments at training camp. Here are some observations …
‘We're constantly trying to evolve'
For more on what’s happening within Buffalo’s offense, here are some highlights from offensive coordinator Brian Daboll’s recent press conferences.
‘On the field you must flip that switch'
Here are some highlights from head coach Sean McDermott’s recent press conferences.
ALLEN GETS HISTORIC DEAL
Bills QB now under contract through 2028
Right back in the swing of things
It’s fair to say that this year’s Bills training camp looks wildly different from those of the past.
1st & Ten with STEFON DIGGS
Stefon Diggs had one of the best seasons ever by a Bills receiver in 2020, and he’s looking for an encore. Diggs was clearly amped up and ready to go as the Bills began their preparations for the new season, leading the huddle and supporting his teammates as they kicked off training camp in Orchard Park. Diggs recently touched on his goals for the upcoming season for both himself and the team in an informative discussion with members of the media. Here are the highlights from that discussion.
RUNNING BACKS: TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS
Aaron Jones, Packers 5-9 • 208 pounds • 27 years old A fifth-round steal in the 2017 draft out of UTEP, Jones is equally proficient in the running and passing games. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards the last two years, and caught 49 and 47 passes, respectively. He’s also a touchdown machine with 30 TDs the last two years (25 rushing and 5 receiving). The son of two career Army officers, he’s a tough, driven player and the kind of guy players want on their team.
THE RIGHT STUFF?
Keeping two important starters is a priority as the right side of the O-line hits free agency
QUARTERBACKS: TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS
Dak Prescott, Cowboys 6-2 • 235 pounds • 27 years old A solid starter who has a nice TD-INT ratio over his first five seasons (104-40), Prescott is an accurate thrower and very mobile. However, he’s coming off a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle, so it remains to be seen if this will impact his game moving forward.
TIGHT ENDS: TOP AVAILABLE FREE AGENTS
Hunter Henry, Chargers 6-5 • 250 pounds • 29 years old A very talented player, Henry has had issues staying healthy, unable to complete an NFL season, including missing the entire 2018 season with a torn ACL. But when healthy, he’s a terrific all-around tight end who really connected with Justin Herbert in 2020 with 60 catches. Henry is very good at finding holes in zone coverage.