Buffalo Bills Not Expected to Tender David Nelson (Updated)

Updated: February 23, 2013

Update 2: From Nelson himself, the team won’t tender anything. At this point, it looks like Nelson will be moving on.

Update: Chris Brown has now reported that Buddy Nix told reporters that the team has been in touch with Nelson’s agent, so it’s possible that the Bills won’t tender Nelson because they are interested in signing him to a multi year extension. Sniper thinks it may have something to do with the fact that RFA contracts are guaranteed, and that the Bills are looking to structure a contract to protect themselves in case Nelson isn’t healthy, or isn’t a good fit for the new offense.

Original: According to Yahoo’s Jason Cole, the Buffalo Bills are not expected to tender a 1.3 million dollar offer to restricted free agent David Nelson.

The 4th year wide receiver had two productive seasons as an undrafted member of Buffalo’s “Goon Squad” wide receiver group, before missing most of the 2012 campaign with an ACL tear.

If correct, the move comes as somewhat of a surprise. Nelson was an effective slot receiver in Chan Gailey’s offense, using his 6-5 frame and solid hands to present a big target for the Bills, and Fitzpatrick and his inaccuracy often needed it. However, Nelson lacked the type of strength and speed generally needed to expand beyond that role, and is likely the reason Buffalo will not be bringing him back. Basically, he had the receiving skills of a decent tight end without any ability to block, and that limits his value.

Buffalo’s receiving corps was already thin in 2012, and have since decided not to bring Donald Jones back. At this point, Buffalo only has Stevie Johnson, unproven recent draftees TJ Graham and Marcus Easley, and potential cap casualty Brad Smith. It’s clear that they are attempting to start over at the position, with speed likely to be more of an emphasis. Even more so now than previously, the Bills should be active in the free agency market and the draft to shore up their depth at the position.