Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Offensive lineman Dion Dawkins has agreed to a four-year contract extension with the Buffalo Bills that will run through the 2024 season, the team announced Thursday.
"It just means that it's time to go earn it. It's definitely time to go out there and earn every penny of it," Dawkins told reporters of what signing the extension meant to him.
"It just gives me that much more respect and it just shows the respect they had for myself that, 'Listen, this is our franchise left tackle and Dion Dawkins is a piece that we can build around and we can continue to win games with.'"
Dawkins, who was entering the final year of his rookie pact, has anchored the left side of the Bills' offensive line since he was picked in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He has started 43 games over the last three seasons and was a team captain in 2019.
The Temple University product becomes the first player from the Bills' 2017 draft class -- the team's first under head coach Sean McDermott -- to receive a contract extension. Dawkins' deal came a day after Buffalo gave McDermott a multiyear extension.
With the new money, Dawkins will surpass the Arizona Cardinals' D.J. Humphries as the league's fifth-highest-paid left tackle. According to Over the Cap, he is the seventh-highest-paid overall offensive tackle.