The Buffalo Bills are looking at adding accomplished depth to their tight end room ahead of their season opener in less than a week.
NFL insider Aaron Wilson reported on September 5 that the Bills were holding a workout with a former Super Bowl champion, a potential addition before the start of the season.
“Veteran tight end Kendall Blanton (6-6, 272), a former Super Bowl champion starter with #Rams who earned another Super Bowl ring with #Chiefs last year, working out today for #Bills per a league source,” Wilson shared on Twitter.
The Bills already did some work to upgrade the tight end position this offseason, and Blanton could bring a veteran presence to the locker room.
Bills Look at Adding Depth
The 27-year-old Blanton came into the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2019, joining the Los Angeles Rams and appearing in one game that season. He appeared in 11 games in 2020 and another four in 2021, making a total of six receptions for 72 yards during that time.
Blanton had a big impact during the Rams’ title run in 2021, making seven catches for 75 yards and one touchdown over the course of four playoff games. The 6-foot-6 tight end signed with the Kansas City Chiefs‘ practice squad prior to the start of the 2022 season, but did not appear in any games.
The Bills are going into the season with three tight ends on the active roster — Dawson Knox, Quintin Morris and rookie Dalton Kincaid. Fullback Reggie Gilliam has also played the role of H-back in the past, sometimes lining up as a tight end.
If the Bills choose to sign Blanton, he would likely start on the practice squad as the Bills have less than a week before their season opener against the New York Jets on Monday Night Football.
Rookie Tight End Could be Headed for Big Year
The Bills already made a big investment into the tight end position this offseason, moving up in the first round of the NFL Draft to select Kincaid. The former Utah product comes with some big expectations, as Pro Football Focus predicted that Kincaid could be headed for one of the best seasons ever for a Bills rookie tight end.
“Rookie tight ends typically don’t have huge production right out of the gate, but a big part of that is the blocking responsibility that limits their use,” the site noted. “With Dawson Knox already in place, the Bills have the rare luxury of being able to deploy Dalton Kincaid with very little in-line blocking responsibility, essentially turning him loose as a big-slot weapon.”
The outlet added that Kincaid earned some high marks for his receiving in college.
“Kincaid’s 2022 PFF receiving grade (91.8) was the best in the nation, and he averaged 2.4 yards per route run,” PFF’s report noted. “Buffalo’s offense is already elite, but there’s a clear and obvious role for him inside and he has the skill set to capitalize on it right away.”
But there could still be room for Blanton, who served largely as a blocking tight end during his time with the Rams.