Last year, the Buffalo Bills emphasized the wide receiver position in the passing game, choosing to run more “11” personnel so that they could keep three wideouts on the field for the majority of the time. This year, thanks to their first-round draft choice, it looks like their preferred personnel package might be shifting.
After drafting a tight end in the first round for the first time since choosing Tony Hunter two picks before Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly in the 1983 NFL Draft, it seems likely that the Bills will use more two-tight end looks this year. It’s hard to run “12” personnel with just two tight ends active each game, so that could mean that the Bills will keep three tight ends active this season — something they didn’t do last year.
In today’s edition of “90 players in 90 days,” we profile the man who could be that third tight end.
Name: Quintin Morris
Height/Weight: 6’2”, 252 pounds
Age: 24 (25 on 1/21/2024)
Experience/Draft: 2; signed with Buffalo following the 2021 NFL Draft
College: Bowling Green
Acquired: UDFA signing
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Morris enters the final year of the two-year contract he signed prior to the 2022 season. He’s scheduled to count $870,000 against the 2023 salary cap if he makes the roster. Buffalo will not be responsible for any dead-cap charges if they release him prior to the start of the season.
2022 Recap: Morris made the 53-man roster out of camp last season, beating out veteran free-agent addition O.J. Howard as the team’s TE3. Early in the year, though, he took over duties as the team’s TE2, eventually becoming the active player on game days while Tommy Sweeney was inactive. Morris appeared in 14 regular-season games for Buffalo, starting one. He saw 11 targets in the passing game, hauling in eight passes for 84 yards and a touchdown. He played in both of the team’s postseason games, as well, catching two of three targets for a total of 18 yards. He also contributed on special teams, appearing on 276 snaps in that phase of the game. That total was tied for fifth among all players on the roster. He made three tackles, forced one fumble, and recovered a fumble.
Positional outlook: Morris joins Dawson Knox, Dalton Kincaid, Joel Wilson, and Nick Guggemos as the healthy tight ends on the current roster. The team placed Zach Davidson on injured reserve earlier this week, ending his season.
2023 Offseason: Morris is healthy and participating in offseason activities.
2023 Season outlook: With the addition of Kincaid via Round 1 of this year’s NFL Draft, one could look at it as a sign that Morris will either find himself off the 53-man roster or inactive on game days. However, one could also choose to view it as making him more essential to the 53-man roster, since an emphasis on “12” personnel means that either Kincaid or Knox is likely to need a breather somewhere. Morris is one of the more intriguing players to watch this summer, as the team has some serious numbers-issues at other spots (the defensive and offensive lines, for example, as well as running back and corner) where general manager Brandon Beane and company may have to make a choice between keeping a third tight end or a fourth running back (or a tenth offensive lineman, or a fifth defensive end, and so on and so forth). Given Morris’ ability on special teams, it definitely makes him more valuable, but I wouldn’t quite call him a roster lock given that someone like Reggie Gilliam could line up at tight end in an emergency. I’d put Morris as a bubble guy this summer, and I think it’s 65/35 that he does make the squad again come September.