clearn.png
Friday January 27th, 2023 7:20PM

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

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

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

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2023 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge strikes down 1931 Michigan law criminalizing abortion
A judge has struck down Michigan’s 1931 anti-abortion law, months after suspending it last spring
2:20PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Here they are: Obamas unveil their White House portraits
Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama have unveiled their official White House portraits
2:17PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Man charged with killing Memphis jogger held without bond
A Tennessee judge has revoked bond for a man charged with killing a Memphis woman who was abducted during a pre-dawn run near a university campus
2:12PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Jets QB Wilson out until at least Week 4, Flacco to start
Joe Flacco will start at quarterback for the New York Jets in the season opener Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens in place of the injured Zach Wilson
12:59PM ( 1 hour ago )
Major League Baseball Players Association joins AFL-CIO
The Major League Baseball Players Association is joining the AFL-CIO
12:39PM ( 2 hours ago )
Defending Super Bowl champion Rams open season as underdogs
Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams will raise their Super Bowl banner Thursday night before kicking off the NFL season at home where they became the second straight team to hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy in their own stadium
12:33PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
SEC teams get more chances for September statements
The Southeastern Conference was perhaps one blocked kick away from perfection on opening weekend, with a few impressive nonconference wins and some no-brainers
9:21AM ( 5 hours ago )
NFL features record-tying 10 new head coaches
There will be a new look on the sideline in Week 1 of the NFL season with a record-tying 10 new head coaches across the league
1:34AM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Top 25 Reality Check: UF vaults in; Georgia changes minds
Florida entered the AP Top 25 with a bullet, landing at No. 12 after beating Utah
1:33AM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Online Football
QB won: Steelers newcomer Mitch Trubisky is Week 1 starter
Mitch Trubisky will be the starter on Sunday when Pittsburgh begins the post-Ben Roethlisberger era in Cincinnati
5:40PM ( 1 day ago )
Jets' Wilson works out, still 'possible' to start vs. Ravens
Zach Wilson worked out on the field Monday and it remains possible the New York Jets quarterback could return from a knee injury in time to start the season opener
5:13PM ( 1 day ago )
Cowboys sign old rival LT Jason Peters with Tyron Smith out
The Dallas Cowboys have signed free agent left tackle Jason Peters to a one-year contract
3:50PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - NFL
Judge strikes down 1931 Michigan law criminalizing abortion
A judge has struck down Michigan’s 1931 anti-abortion law, months after suspending it last spring
2:20PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Here they are: Obamas unveil their White House portraits
Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama have unveiled their official White House portraits
2:17PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Man charged with killing Memphis jogger held without bond
A Tennessee judge has revoked bond for a man charged with killing a Memphis woman who was abducted during a pre-dawn run near a university campus
2:12PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Why was suspect in Canadian stabbing rampage on the streets?
The manhunt for one of two brothers wanted in the stabbing deaths of 10 people in Canada is raising questions of why the suspect -- an ex-con with 59 convictions and a long history of shocking violence -- was out on the streets in the first place
2:00PM ( 40 minutes ago )
Tuchel fired by Chelsea in ruthless call by US ownership
Thomas Tuchel has been fired by Chelsea only one month into the season
1:58PM ( 42 minutes ago )