The Buffalo Bills’ current depth chart at tight end is, all things considered, fairly solid. They have a proven starter who is strong as both a blocker and a receiver, a capable backup who has developed nicely since he was drafted, and a highly-athletic project slated as the current top three players. Then, the team has some big-bodied men who excel in the blocking game.
In the latest installment of our “90 players in 90 days” series, we profile a player who, depending on matchups, was either the Bills’ third or fourth tight end on game days last season.
Name: Khari Lee
Height/Weight: 6’4” 253 lbs.
College: Bowie State
Draft: Entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Houston Texans in 2015
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Lee is in the second year of a two-year contract he siged with the Detroit Lions prior to the 2017 season. The Bills assumed the value of the contract after they claimed him on waivers last year. The pact totals $1.32 million, and his cap number for 2018 is $705,000.
2017 Recap: Lee began the year with the Lions, but he never played in a regular season game with them, as he was waived on September 2 when the team trimmed the roster to 53. He did not have to wait long to find employment, however, as the Bills claimed him on September 3. Lee was inactive for half the season, as he appeared in 8 games for the Bills. He was not targeted once in the passing game, and he totaled 47 offensive snaps for the year.
Positional outlook: Lee is a fairly clear fourth option on the tight end depth chart. Charles Clay, Nick O’Leary, and Logan Thomas make up the top of the depth chart, with Clay and O’Leary expected to play most of the snaps. Thomas offers athletic promise that Lee just can’t match, even if he is raw at the position and still developing as a blocker. Jason Croom and Keith Towbridge round out the position.
2018 Offseason: Lee has not received much press this offseason, which isn’t surprising. He attended voluntary workouts and the team’s mandatory minicamp.
2018 season outlook: Lee is unlikely to make the roster out of the preseason unless he has a great camp or the Bills choose to go with 4 tight ends. The coaching staff has shown continued faith in Logan Thomas, who is out for the spring and early summer recovering from knee surgery. If there are any delays in his recovery, it bodes well for Lee’s chances at earning a roster spot; however, it’s more likely that the same three tight ends who made the 2017 roster will play for the 2018 vintage, as well.