The Bills became the first team to add a tight end in this year’s draft by trading up to select Dalton Kincaid. Seen as one of two first-round talents at the position, the Utah product figures to have a prominent pass-catching role in Buffalo’s offense for years to come.
The Bills came close to making a veteran addition at the position in 2021, though, when Zach Ertz was on the trade block. The three-time Pro Bowler ended up being dealt to the Cardinals, but Buffalo was named as a suitor at the time. Their efforts nearly yielded a swap, as Ertz recently confirmed.
“I was getting traded out of Philadelphia,” the 32-year-old said, via Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News. “There were a couple teams extremely interested, Buffalo being one of them. It was almost a done deal, but it just didn’t get over the finish line.”
Here are some other notes out of Buffalo:
- Micah Hyde is entering the final year of his deal, and he appears set to play without a new contract in hand beyond 2023. General manager Brandon Beane indicated (via Gaughan’s colleague Jay Skurski, on Twitter) that no extension talks have taken place with the 32-year-old. Hyde has been a mainstay on the backend during his six-year tenure with the Bills, but a neck injury limited him to just two games in 2022. The Pro Bowler is due $7.2MM this season, and has a scheduled cap hit of $10.57MM. His replacement after going down – Damar Hamlin – has been cleared to return to football activities and has two years remaining on his rookie contract.
- Part of the reason the Bills traded up to secure Kincaid was the run on receivers coming off the board in the middle of the first round, as Beane noted during an appearance on Sirius XM Radio (audio link). Buffalo moved up from No. 27 to 25 (ahead of the TE-needy Cowboys) to secure Kincaid, widely seen as the best pass-catcher in a loaded class at the position. The latter should represent a strong fit in the team’s offense given how his skillset compliments that of Dawson Knox, though the Bills went until the fifth round to secure a receiver prospect, something many expected them to add earlier given their need for secondary pass-catching options.
- The latest addition to Buffalo’s backfield, veteran Latavius Murray, came as a surprise to some. However, he knew he would be headed to Orchard Park by the third day of the draft given his agreement with Beane. The latter revealed, via Ryan Talbot of NewYorkUpstate.com, that he elected not to draft a running back on Day 3 on the condition that Murray would agree to sign with Buffalo. The 33-year-old should have a rotational role in the Bills’ new-look backfield after inking a one-year, veteran minimum pact.