On Thursday, we brought you a report that the Bills had decided against using the franchise tag on impending free agent wide receiver Stevie Johnson.
Bills general manager Buddy Nix is singing a different tune. He told Joe Buscaglia of WGR 55o in Buffalo that the team has not made any decision about Johnson’s future and that he would be meeting with Johnson’s representatives on Friday in an effort to sort things out.
“You know everything’s an option,” Nix replied. “I read in the paper or somebody sent it to me the other day that we definitely were not going to tag him. I don’t know who they talked to, I’d like to talk to them maybe see what we’re gonna do with some of those other guys. So I don’t know who the source was but they don’t know, I can promise you that. Again, that’s an option we’ve got until March 5 to decide.”
Nix didn’t deny that the two sides are far apart on discussions about a long-term contract, however. With a deep class of free agent wideouts set to hit the market on March 13th, the $9.4 million franchise tag for Johnson might not make much sense for Buffalo. Of course, the Bills have had a hard time attracting big free agents in the past so that might also play a role in whatever their ultimate decision is when it comes to Johnson’s future with the team.