The Buffalo Bills want to make sure that a few of their key components from last season will return in 2012. The top priority on their list is impending free agent wide receiver Steve Johnson. Johnson and the team exchanged proposals in mid-February, but the most recent news was that the two sides were fairly far apart.
If the Bills feel like they're unlikely to work out a new contract, they would have until March 5 to apply the franchise tag to Johnson. Otherwise, the wideout will hit the open market on March 13. Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550 SportsRadio reports that Bills' general manager Buddy Nix isn't ruling out using the franchise tag to retain Johnson, despite earlier reports that it was unlikely.
You know everything's an option. 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 mentioned that the team was going to need another wide receiver even if Johnson does return. If the Bills don't come to an agreement or apply the tag, they'll be looking for two wide receivers via the draft or free agency, which may prove daunting.
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