Buffalo Bills adding Greg Olsen would benefit Dawson Knox, Josh Allen
If the Buffalo Bills were to sign tight end Greg Olsen, it would not only benefit quarterback Josh Allen but also second year tight end Dawson Knox.
On Wednesday, former Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen took his first free agent visit after being released by the Carolina Panthers earlier in the week. That first visit brought him to the Buffalo Bills and the connections are seemingly endless for Olsen with the coaching staff.
While Olsen will be 35 years of age at the start of the season and his Pro Bowl days are likely behind him, his addition to this offense could have a major impact on a number of different areas.
The first is that a player like Greg Olsen keeps the offense on the field. He is a sure-handed tight end that can move the chains in third down situations. For his career, Olsen has picked up a first down on nearly 62% of his receptions and that number jumps to 65.3% when looking at his numbers from this past season.
While the offense as a whole benefits, it is really Josh Allen who could see the greatest boost from having a player like Greg Olsen on the field. The former first round pick has shown that with better weapons around him, he is able to elevate his play.
This past season he improved his completion percentage from 52.8% as a rookie to 58.6%. One of the reasons for this was the addition of Cole Beasley, who became a reliable target for Allen out of the slot.
However, the Bills lacked that big target in the red zone when the field shrinks. This is where Olsen can be a tremendous asset for this offense.
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The concern of adding a player like Greg Olsen is how this might impact Dawson Knox, who showed flashes as a rookie. However, a player like Olsen should only benefit Knox as he enters his second year in the league.
Greg Olsen has been a very good tight end in the NFL for a long time and having that experience in practice and in the film room should help Knox. This was evident this past season with the impact Frank Gore had on Devin Singletary, who put together a stellar rookie season.
However, the coaching staff also deserves some credit here for this being as successful as it was because they knew that Singletary was the future and he was ready to take control of the position. While the coaching staff could have given Frank Gore the majority of the carries for the rest of the year, by making that shift Singletary got the full benefit of a veteran like Gore along with the playing time.
The tight end position is different in that Brian Daboll and this offensive coaching staff can get creative with their sets. They can utilize both Olsen and Knox separately based on the situation, or on the field at the same time and create mismatches for the defense. This past season Knox led the position with just over 60% of the offensive snaps, but Lee Smith was on the field for nearly 30% and even Tyler Kroft had 22% and that number could have been higher if he wasn’t hurt to start the year.
If the Buffalo Bills elect to cut Tyler Kroft this offseason, which would result in about $4.8 million in cap savings according to Spotrac, bringing in a veteran like Greg Olsen would be beneficially to this offense, Josh Allen and even Dawson Knox.