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After a status quo 2020 offseason, Buffalo Bills need new blood in 2021 tight end room

Buffalo just won’t have the horses in the barn.

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

During the 2020 offseason, the Buffalo Bills kept their tight end room in tact. They restructured the contract of Tyler Kroft, and that was it. Nate Becker stayed around on a futures deal. Jason Croom came off injured reserve. Everyone stayed.

In 2021, the whole position room looks like it could get turned over.

Croom was released in September, signed to the practice squad, and released from the practice squad. He made his way to the Philadelphia Eagles where he played in a few regular season games, even catching a touchdown pass.

Tommy Sweeney never made it onto the active roster. An offseason injury kept him on the injured list until he landed on the COVID-19 list. He was diagnosed with myocarditis, a known side effect of the coronavirus, which ended his season.

Reggie Gilliam, the fullback/tight end/h-back, saw some time at tight end while the majority of the tight end room was on coronavirus quarantine, but that was the major blip for the season. He’s likely to revert back to that H-back role full-time.

Tyler Kroft was inactive for large chunks of the season. It’s likely they won’t bring him back this offseason now that he’s a free agent.

Becker is still developmental and is a potential replacement for Lee Smith’s role on the roster. Smith and his $2 million price tag seems like a luxury with the COVID-related cap crunch.

That leaves Dawson Knox, who is inconsistent but still growing. Even if Knox is one of the answers at tight end, the Bills will need to bring in at least two bodies and one that can play meaningful snaps this offseason.

The answer to the Bills’ questions at tight end are not on the roster right now. Even if they kept the expensive Smith to pair with Knox and Becker made a jump, they’d have to hope that Sweeney would be healthy and able to play in 2021.