The result of those talks is that Nelson will not become a restricted free agent. He’ll be totally unrestricted since the Bills have decided not to tender him a contract for the 2013 season.
General Manager Buddy Nix made the announcement on Sunday afternoon, making Nelson the second wide receiver that Buffalo has decided to bid adieu without so much as a tender offer this offseason. Donald Jones was also set to become a restricted free agent, but, like Nelson, was told that the team would be moving in other directions.
The Jones decision was impacted by a medical condition that kept him unavailable near the end of the season. Health is also a factor for Nelson, who tore his ACL in the season opening loss to the Jets last season. Nelson had 61 catches out of the slot for the Bills in 2011, but the team is obviously overhauling their receiving corps under new coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.
Of the six receivers who will be on the roster after March 12, Stevie Johnson and Brad Smith are the only ones with extensive experience while T.J. Graham is coming off his rookie year. Smith hasn’t been used as a traditional receiver all that month in his career, which is another way of saying that the Bills will be in the market for a lot of help at that spot the offseason.