Bills Cut Ties With Ex-Saints TE, Sign Former 3rd Round Pick

Sean McDermott

Getty Bills head coach Sean McDermott on August 26, 2023.

The Buffalo Bills are adding one veteran tight end to their practice squad and cutting ties with another.

The team announced on November 7 that they signed tight end Tre’ McKitty to the practice squad and released tight end Joel Wilson, adding some depth at a time when the position has been thinned by injury.

McKitty has NFL experience, entering the NFL as a third-round pick for the Los Angeles Chargers.

“McKitty is a 6-foot-4, 247-pound TE drafted by the Chargers in the third round of the 2021 Draft. In two seasons with the Chargers, he had 16 catches for 117 yards,” the team noted. “He played collegiately at Florida State (2017-2019) and Georgia (2020).”


Bills Shifting Depth Chart at Tight End

With McKitty’s signing, the Bills parted ways with a promising pass catcher who came to the team after a rough start with the New Orleans Saints. Wilson initially signed with the Saints as an underafted free agent, but SI.com’s John Hendrix reported that he failed his entrance physical and was released. Wilson then signed with the Bills in May.

Wilson had a strong collegiate career at Central Michigan, making 82 receptions for 874 yards with 12 touchdowns. He made a particularly strong impression in his senior season in 2022, when he made 44 catches for 445 yards with six touchdowns and earned All-MAC honors.

Wilson was a high school quarterback who converted to tight end in college, and Bob Rose of SI.com’s Saints News Network said he was a strong NFL prospect.

“A natural receiver, Wilson has terrific hands and is a reliable target,” Rose wrote in a story published May 10. “He shows a nice variation in his patterns and should be able to handle an expanded route tree. Wilson disguises his breaks well, allowing him to get separation, and shows strong awareness of zone concepts. After the catch, he is an elusive open-field runner capable of picking up extra yardage.”


Bills Hit By Injuries at Tight End

The Bills have been thin at tight end since Dawson Knox was placed on injured reserve and backup Quintin Morris missed time due to injury. That left rookie Dalton Kincaid as the only tight end on the active roster for a stretch, though he has lived up to expectations set when the Bills traded up in the first round to land him.

Kincaid has made 40 catches for 339 yards with one touchdown, and is currently on pace for the most receptions ever by a tight end in franchise history. Kincaid had a particularly strong game in the team’s November 5 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, setting career highs with 10 receptions for 81 yards.

As Syracuse.com’s Ryan Talbot wrote, Kincaid has been a bright point in an otherwise disappointing season. Despite losing a costly fumble against the Bengals, Kincaid was still one of the team’s most effective targets on offense and has likely taken over the mantle of top tight end, Talbot wrote.

“Kincaid has been as good as advertised and there is no turning back to Dawson Knox as tight end No. 1 when he returns from injury,” he wrote.

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