Bills tackle Dion Dawkins agrees to 3-year extension, reignites feud with Jets' Micheal Clemons

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Dion Dawkins isn’t going anywhere after the starting left tackle agreed to a three-year extension with the Buffalo Bills. And neither is Dawkins' feud with New York Jets second-year defensive lineman Micheal Clemons.

Dawkins had plenty to say about both — his love for his adopted city of Buffalo, and his distaste for Clemons — during a nearly 40-minute Zoom call with the media shortly after agreeing to his new contract on Monday. And Dawkins acknowledged he was joking earlier in the day when he posted on social media that his time with the Bills was over.

“I don't really see it as a prank. I'm an entertainer, and I'm going to entertain,” he said of his post on X, which in part read, “It was good while it lasted, Buffalo.”

When it comes to Buffalo, the seven-year starter, who had one year remaining on his contract, can’t think of anywhere else he’d rather play. His new deal runs through the 2027 season.

“I can never leave this community. Like, I wouldn’t walk away for nothing,” Dawkins said. “Like, I can’t go somewhere else and smile in some other fan’s face. Nah, bro, I gave too much to you guys. And Buffalo is me.”

Later, Dawkins turned his attention to Clemons, when asked about whether he regretted calling Clemons' manhood into question during an interview last month.

“I don’t regret anything. There’s nothing to be re-negging about,” Dawkins said. “Like, bro, we’re not friends. Like you chased me into a tunnel and used your beak to start barking. Like, we’re not doing that. ... We’re not gangsters. We’re football players. And we handle our business on the football field, right?”

Dawkins was referring to an on-field altercation that eventually escalated into a shoving and shouting match in a stadium tunnel following Buffalo’s 32-6 win over the AFC East rival Jets on Nov. 19.

“I’m not a fan of the Jets, like, very disrespectful players,” Dawkins said after the game in which he drew an unnecessary roughness penalty for flopping on top of Clemons before the whistle.

Dawkins said he was coming to the defense of his teammates after Clemons confronted quarterback Josh Allen and receiver Gabe Davis.

Clemons has not commented on what happened or Dawkins' remarks.

In separate moves, the Bills retained two pending free agents by reaching two-year deals with edge rusher A.J. Epenesa and defensive back Cam Lewis.

Epenesa, Buffalo's second-round pick in the 2020 draft, has posted 6 1/2 sacks in each of his past two seasons. The 25-year-old is expected to gain more playing time behind starters Greg Rousseau and Von Miller, and following the expected free-agent loss of Leonard Floyd.

The Bills announced Lewis' signing, with the player's agent, Sean Stellato, saying the contract is worth $4 million. Lewis returns after spending his first four seasons with the Bills.

The 26-year-old Lewis chose to return to Buffalo because he is familiar with the team’s defensive system and has experience playing both cornerback and safety. The Bills’ secondary is undergoing a transition after the team released safety Jordan Poyer and cornerback Tre’Davious White last week, and with safety Micah Hyde contemplating retirement.

Dawkins’ extension solidifies the future of Allen’s primary protector. The deal also provides salary-cap relief for a team that spent the past few weeks slashing payroll after entering the offseason projected to be a league-high $44 million over the cap.

Among the cap-related player cuts was respected center Mitch Morse.

Saddened by Morse’s departure, Dawkins said he took into account the Bills' salary cap situation during negotiations.

“I would rather there be more money to go around for my teammates and for us to build a Super Bowl team that we need to win,” Dawkins said.

Dawkins, who turns 30 next month, has been the Bills’ starting left tackle since being selected in the second round of the 2017 draft out of Temple. The three-time Pro Bowl selection is noted for his durability. He has started 106 regular-season games, plus 11 in the playoffs.

Dawkins is also a team leader and community favorite for the charitable work that led to him being the team’s Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee in each of the past two seasons.