Earlier on Thursday, there were reports that the Bills and wide receiver Donald Jones were talking about a contract extension that would eliminate the need to tender him a contract as a restricted free agent.
Either those reports were incorrect or the discussions took a turn for the worse because the Bills announced Thursday afternoon that they will not be tendering Jones a contract offer. General Manager Buddy Nix made it clear that they weren’t making the move to set up a return from Jones at some later point.
“We have made the decision not to re-sign Donald,” said Nix. “We’re going in a different direction and this move today gives Donald the opportunity to catch on with another team early on in the process. We thank him for his years with our organization and wish him the best in the future.”
Jones had 41 catches for the Bills last season and dealt with an undisclosed medical condition that forced him to miss the final three weeks of the regular season. He’ll be free to sign with any team starting on March 12. The Bills were expected to add help at receiver even with Jones in the fold so there shouldn’t be too dramatic a change to their offseason plans as a result of this decision.