Yeah, Bills offensive line Dion Dawkins got a nice chunk of change on Thursday. Entering the final year of his rookie contract, Dawkins signed a four-year, $60 million extension with the team.
It’s a pretty hefty pay day for him, and he’s certainly happy to put pen to paper on that. We knew comments of happiness were going to come from anyone who was just a few hours removed from doing this. The 26-year-old expressing that wasn’t interesting at all when he spoke via a video conference from Bills training camp on after the ink was dry.
What was the most resounding thing to come from Dawkins was another sign that the times have changed at One Bills Drive thanks to their current front office led by head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane. Yeah, there’s process and culture throw all around by those two, but involved in that is a message of working hard and the Bills will take care of you. Give us results, and we’ll get you your day.
Dawkins said him being offered this contract by the Bills is a loud message that this organization is not messing around.
“First, it shows a lot of respect to coach McDermott and the organization as a whole. Because once again, they are big on what they preach… and if they’re going to walk around here and speak on, ‘We’re going to take care of our players, trust the process’… This just show they’re not B.S. They mean exactly what they say and are doing exactly what they say and I’m just glad, once again, that I’m part of it,” Dawkins said.
Dawkins even made reference to McDermott signing an extension with the Bills earlier this week as another example of this.
“McDermott, he came in here, and he just preached, ‘Trust the process, respect the process,’” Dawkins said. “To see that the Pegulas had locked in our head spear which is Sean McDermott? It just show that we’re all preaching what we say.”
And Dawkins might not realize it, but even though he’s really emphasizing the Bills practice what they preach, this kind of goes double in a time like this. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic causing a potential loss of revenue in 2020, the salary cap next season might actually go down as low as $175 million in 2021. Typically it goes up each season. In 2020 it’s $198.2M.
Earlier in training camp, Beane explained the situation he’s in: “Obviously that throws a wrench in every team’s planning because it’s $198 million this year, and those things have been jumping 10, 12 million every year. Prior to this COVID, our plan, we were planning on that thing being close to 210 or so. Obviously it adjusts what we can and can’t do. But we still want to retain our guys and we’re going to do our best to retain as many as possible.”
The Bills did exactly that. And not only was Dawkins ecstatic that he signed a deal, he’s even more excited to show it’s a worthwhile deal.
“First of all, I have to earn it. Just because it’s there, it doesn’t mean that it can’t disappear… and I know that about this league. I don’t take it for granted. From having this contract, it made me, and it’s only been hours, but it’s made me just that much more hungry. We hear about guys all the time that get paid, then they fall off… believe me… it will not be me and I will do everything and anything to fight so that it will never be me. I’m going to earn every bit of this contract,” Dawkins said.
Up next after McDermott and Dawkins? The Bills will look to extend guys such as Beane in the front office and linebacker Matt Milano on the field.