25-year-old wide receiver Donald Jones caught 41 passes for 443 yards, and WGR 550 Buffalo is reporting that the Buffalo Bills are working to extend their young, solid wide receiver, per a league source. Jones is viewed by many people as a best fit as a No.3 or 4 wide receiver, and 2012 was easily the best season for Jones to date. He benefited from the injury to David Nelson and showed with the increased targets that he is a solid wide receiver in this league by moving the chains. Jones finished the year with four touchdowns and is a solid possession guy for the Bills.
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Some thought that the Bills would just give the restricted free agent his one-year tender and move on, but the Bills value Jones higher than that and view him as somebody the organization needs to lock up long-term. That’s high praise for Jones, and he does deserve the added recognition after a solid season. The Bills are expected to bring in a true No. 2 wide receiver this offseason, and there is legitimate criticism against locking up for the former undrafted free agent out of Youngstown State. However, the extension would likely be cheap and it’s better than a one-year tender.
The Bills still have a need at the wide receiver position, and I think Jones is a No. 4 guy if the Bills add a No. 2 receiver (which they should). David Nelson tore his ACL, but he has a better resume than Jones and is the better receiver overall. He moves the chains even better than Jones does and is one of the better slot receivers in the league. Nelson is also an RFA, and the only reason why the Bills are working on Jones first is likely because of Nelson’s injury. Nelson is also young and shouldn’t be affected too much by the injury, especially since he is ahead of schedule with his rehabbing.
Bills fans will be hoping that Donald Jones just gets an inexpensive deal for a few years to stick around as a solid receiver in the rotation, because he isn’t anything more than that. He’s a solid player and caught about 40 passes to prove it, but Nelson is still a better option and Jones isn’t a solution as a No. 2 receiver. I doubt the Bills are thinking along those lines, but that’s a worry expressed by a couple of Bills fans I’ve seen in the comments sections and on Twitter.
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