The Buffalo Bills' offensive line is in disarray after losing Brandon Shell to a surprise retirement and Tommy Doyle to a season-ending injury in the span of a few days this week.
However, one source believes that the line's most consistent player — and one of the team's longest-tenured players — may face uncertainty heading into the 2023 season.
According to The Athletic's Joe Buscaglia, left tackle Dion Dawkins will face heightened scrutiny following an up-and-down season in 2022 and may need to prove himself to justify his compensation moving forward.
Dion Dawkins Must Have a 'Bounce-Back' Year for the Bills.As Buscaglia pointed out, Dawkins was one of several offensive linemen who struggled in the team's preseason loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on August 19.
While Dawkins is not in danger of losing his job, his performance may contribute to the pressure he will face in the future season, according to Buscaglia.
"Dawkins is the clear-cut top offensive tackle on the team," Buscaglia said, "though some flaws in his pass protection against the Steelers are nowhere near the positive tune-up the Bills would have liked to see from their top left tackle."
"He even had a false start penalty thrown in there, and his inefficient night likely played a role in him playing for an extra drive after quarterback Josh Allen subbed out."
"Dawkins is a sneaky storyline this year, as his play dropped off slightly in 2022 and he's now 29," he wrote. “With a $15.3 million cap hit in 2024, Dawkins needs a rebound.”
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