Grace Heidinger Bill Wippert/Buffalo BillsBuffalo Bills free agent signing Connor McGovern, March 16, 2023 at One Bills Drive.
Newly-signed Bills guard Connor McGovern was on vacation in Hawaii last week and he texted Bills guard Ryan Bates just to check in, which wasn't anything out of the ordinary as the two played together in college. McGovern shared that he would reach out to Bates here and there to ask about life in Buffalo.
Next thing McGovern knew, he was meeting with GM Brandon Beane at One Bills Drive to sign his three-year contract with the Bills on Thursday.
"I've always thought that like last year, if there would be a dream team like where I can go, Buffalo was always at the top of that," McGovern said. "Just to get back up north and I just texted Ryan and I was like 'What's Buffalo like?' And he couldn't have had enough good things to say about it."
Bates and McGovern go back to their playing days at Penn State, and now the former Nittany Lions will be sharing the offensive line together in Buffalo. And after hearing about the special culture within the Bills organization, specifically in the locker room, McGovern couldn't wait to experience it for himself.
"He was telling me it is an extremely close-knit group, especially in the O-line but in the locker room in general," McGovern said. "When I walked in there, they have all different types of games and stuff like that. And I was just like, "What is going on here?" It just looked like a fun time."
Beane and McGovern both confirmed that he will likely play at left guard, where he was last season with the Dallas Cowboys. Something that Beane values at any position is versatility and McGovern feels that it's one of the best aspects of his game.
"I've played multiple positions, you look back even two years ago I was playing wide receiver, tight end, fullback," McGovern said. "And overall, that helped my football IQ. So then last year, going to left guard, just helping solidify the offensive line and hopefully come here bring those aspects of Dallas out here and hopefully solidify this group and take the next step."
The GM also praised his steady play, grittiness, toughness, and ability to get the job done. All of those features of McGovern's game will come in handy when blocking for QB Josh Allen.
"He (Allen) reached out to me the other day just to tell me how excited he was for me to be here and all that," McGovern said. "I'm excited for how mobile he is, how he moves around in the pocket, his arm, his incredible strength. I'm excited to block for him."
During his three seasons with the Cowboys, McGovern established strong relationships with his teammates and learned from the veterans on the roster. Now he's looking forward to doing the same with his new teammates in Buffalo both on and off the field.
"I know I have not hit my potential yet," McGovern said. "Just every year, getting better and better and better. My first year I was on IR, then the second year was COVID so, no OTAs, training camp got pushed back, no preseason and all that. Just went into that season cold and all that and last season was my first year I could build a baseline and all that and all the numbers I'm hitting right now, I know how well I played last year, and I can take another step forward just off these baselines alone from this offseason."
His offseason will also consist of making Buffalo a home with his fiancee, Delaney. But luckily for the two Pennsylvania natives, Buffalo is close to home for them.
"It's close enough to home that people can come up but not come unannounced and so that's nice," McGovern. "There's gonna be a lot of people from my family here and that all the time like. My family made the drive and flights down to Texas, they didn't miss a game at all in Dallas. So be prepared Bills Mafia for a lot of McGovern people here."