Bills TE Knox honors late brother after signing 4-year deal

Sep 6, 2022, 11:06 PM | Updated: Sep 7, 2022, 2:12 pm

FILE - Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox (88) makes a catch for a touchdown during the first half...

FILE - Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox (88) makes a catch for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the New England Patriots in Orchard Park, N.Y., Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. The Bills signed tight end Dawson Knox to a four-year contract extension in a move made on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022, that locks up one of the team's top scoring threats.(AP Photo/ Jeffrey T. Barnes, File)

(AP Photo/ Jeffrey T. Barnes, File)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The joy Dawson Knox experienced in signing a $53.6 million, four-year contract extension with the Buffalo Bills on Wednesday was undercut by the recent death of the tight end’s younger brother.

As a result, Knox couldn’t think of a better way to pay tribute to Luke Knox than by dedicating this season to him.

“I know that he’s up in heaven right now, and he’s smiling down, couldn’t be more excited, so this is for him, too,” Knox said in a pool report released by the Bills, who are in Los Angeles preparing to open the NFL season on Thursday night against the Rams.

“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,” he added. “He’s always been my biggest supporter and wants me to be the best player and be the best man I possibly can be.”

The signing comes three weeks after Luke Knox, a Florida International University player, died of unknown causes.

While the Bills announced the move, which locks up Knox through the 2026 season, a person with direct knowledge of the contract confirmed its value to The Associated Press after it was first reported by ESPN. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team did not reveal the figure, which currently ranks Knox as the NFL’s sixth-highest paid tight end.

The person said Knox is guaranteed $31 million, with the remainder made up in incentives and bonus money.

Knox, who has one year left on his rookie contract, is coming off a season in which he established himself as one of Josh Allen’s top red-zone targets. He finished second on the two-time defending AFC East champions with nine touchdown receptions, setting the franchise’s single-season record for tight ends while also tying for second in the NFL among players at his position.

“I knew I wanted to be here for as long as I possibly could be, so I couldn’t be more excited to lock this deal in,” Knox said. “I love the city of Buffalo. It couldn’t be a better football city.”

Knox was reminded of the Bills’ passionate fanbase after it donated more than $200,000 to Buffalo’s P.U.N.T. Pediatric Cancer Collaborative in his brother’s name.

“It’s more than I could have expected, but at the same time, it’s weirdly not surprising just because this is such an incredible city with such an incredible fanbase and people,” he said Monday. “It means the world to me. I love all the people in Buffalo.”

From Tennessee, the 25-year-old Knox was already anticipating the possibility of signing a long-term extension by purchasing a home in the Buffalo area this offseason.

Selected in the third round of the 2019 draft out of Mississippi, Knox is coming off a breakout season in posting career highs with 49 catches for 587 yards, while also becoming Buffalo’s first tight end to score in four consecutive games. He nearly doubled the production from his first two seasons in which he combined for 52 catches for 676 yards and five TDs.

At 6-foot-4 and 254 pounds, Knox’s emergence last year provided Buffalo’s pass-first offense a dependable and sizeable dimension particularly inside opponents’ 20, while taking advantage of opposing teams focusing their coverage on top receiver Stefon Diggs.

Locking up Knox ensures the Bills offense will have a semblance of continuity beyond this season, with Allen and Diggs already signed to long-term deals, and No. 2 receiver Gabe Davis still having two years left on his contract.

Knox was already looking ahead to building on his production this year.

“I’ve always just took the stance that I want to do whatever I can to help the team win games,” Knox said, noting he also needs to play a valuable role in blocking and pass-protection situations. “But I’d also love to continue contributing in the passing game as well, just because I know the weapon that I can be. And I kind of want to use last year as a foundation going forward.”

___

This story has been corrected to reflect Gabe Davis having two years remaining on his contract.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://apnews.com/hub/pro-32 and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

3 months ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

3 months ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

3 months ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

3 months ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

3 months ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

3 months ago

Bills TE Knox honors late brother after signing 4-year deal