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Buffalo Bills Player Spotlight: Dawson Knox on Path to Lucrative Reward

The third-year player will be eligible for his second contract after this season, and the Bills would be wise to lock him up ASAP.

Like teammate Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox didn't bloom until his third season. And like Allen, Knox likely will have a rich new contract by this time next season because of it.

The time is fast approaching for Knox to be paid as he keeps proving his worth in Buffalo's wide-open attack after two uneven seasons in which he struggled with consistency.

This year, the only thing that has held him back was a broken bone in his right hand that still didn't keep him from completing a 2-point conversion pass in Buffalo's version of the Philly Special during a 34-31 loss at Tennessee.

Knox would miss the next two games. Yet with six games to play, his 31 receptions and seven touchdowns catches are career highs. So are his yards-per-target average (10.1) and catch percentage (75.6).

Now the only thing that remains is for the Bills to lock him up, which they almost certainly will do in the offseason because of all the salary cap flexibility they will have going into 2022.

But Knox's mind is not on his money, and his money isn't on his mind right now. The New England Patriots, who invade Highmark Stadium on Monday night, are.

The Patriots are 8-4, have won six in a row and lead the Bills (7-4) by a half game in the AFC East. 

"Consistency is always important," Knox said. "That's one thing we try to pride ourselves on. I think we got some good momentum coming from last game, and our game plan's strong. I feel really good about it and I know everybody else does too.

"But it's just [about] taking one play at a time and worrying about the things we can control. And we know if we do our fundamentals the right away, we're going to be a tough team to beat."

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At the same time, Knox acknowledged that momentum doesn't necessarily mean anything.

"Each game has a life of its own," he added, "and we know this one's going to be a little special, Monday Night Football in Buffalo, divisional opponent. There's going to be a lot of good energy there. It's going to be fun."

Specifically, Knox knows how much of a test he and the offensive line will face from New England's front seven and trying to block the edgesk, where the Patriots have dominated on their way to allowing the fewest points per game in the NFL this year.

"Yeah, it'll be a fun challenge for us," he said. "[Outside linebacker Matt] Judon has been having a great year. We've gone up against [OLB Kyle Van Noy] a lot, whether it was him with the Patriots or him with Miami. So you know we know these guys and we know they're extremely talented. They've got some great guys up front, great outside linebacker.

"So these are the kinds of games where you really look forward to because it kind of shows you where you're at and it gives you a chance to compete with the best, so it's something I'm personally really looking forward to."

Especially if the weather is nasty, as expected.

"I actually kind of like playing in the cold," the Tennessee native said. "It's one thing playing in the 100-degree humidity where you're cramping up at halftime. I'd rather play in 30-degree weather where you're getting warm, feeling good. It's almost refreshing at that point how, you know, the cold can kind of amp you up a little bit too.

"But I mean this the amount of stuff we got on the sidelines like the heat benches, those big jackets, the big jet-engine heat blowers. They do a great job of keeping us warm."

Nick Fierro is the publisher of Bills Central. Check out the latest Bills news at www.si.com/nfl/bills and follow Fierro on Twitter at @NickFierro. Email to Nicky300@aol.com.