Former Bills WR Could Return After Sudden Release by Jaguars

While Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane said he had no plans to make a big splash trade in free agency, he might scoop up a familiar face at a discount.

The Jacksonville Jaguars cut wide receiver Zay Jones a mere five days after landing Brian Thomas Jr. in the draft. Jones was entering the final season of his three-year, $24 million contract. By releasing the 29-year-old, who looked to be fourth on the depth chart, Jacksonville saved $4.18 million in cap space while eating $6.56 million in dead money.

USA Today’s Nick Wojton wrote on Tuesday, April 30, “Because of his connections with the Bills, there could be a possibility he’s added to Buffalo’s receiving room. The Bills only selected one receiver at the 2024 NFL draft in Keon Coleman via a second-round pick.”

LAWRENCE TO ZAY JONES. 39-YARD TD. #SuperWildCard

📺: #LACvsJAX on NBC
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/LG9lf52l9m pic.twitter.com/E7VZZpAExe

— NFL (@NFL) January 15, 2023

The Bills traded up to draft Jones in the second of the 2017 NFL draft. The East Carolina alum failed to break out his rookie season and was involved in an off-season hotel incident that led to an arrest. However, Jones put up solid numbers after quarterback Josh Allen landed in Buffalo. During the 2018 season, he registered 56 receptions for 652 yards and 7 touchdowns.

Buffalo ultimately traded Jones to the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders in October 2019 for a 2021 fifth-round pick. After three seasons, Jones landed in Jacksonville.

Over the past two seasons, he recorded 116 receptions for 1,1444 yards and 7 touchdowns in 25 games. He missed eight games last season due to knee and hamstring injuries. The AP reported, “He also was arrested on a domestic violence charge that was ultimately dropped.”

The Bills Could Sign Zay Jones After the $10.2 Million Clears From Tre’Davious White’s Release

GettyFormer Bills wide receiver Zay Jones on September 29, 2019 in Orchard Park, New York.

After trading Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans, and Gabe Davis‘ exit in free agency, the Buffalo Bills were expected to select two wide receivers in the NFL draft.

While Coleman projects to be their new X-receiver, Buffalo may add another veteran weapon. Once the $10.2 million clears on June 1 from Tre’Davious White’s release. the Bills could take a flier on Jones. The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia predicts Beane will be active during the second wave of free agency.

“I believe the Bills will be in on conversations trying to add a veteran who can help immediately in 2024, possibly on a one-year deal,” Buscaglia wrote. Before Jones was released, he floated free agent wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Tyler Boyd as top available options.

While Beckham is ‘Not the same player he was in his prime, but he would provide a name to the receiver group and some downfield ability the team doesn’t have in an established veteran. He’d push to start at Z receiver.”

While Boyd is “not as flashy a name as Beckham,” he was an extremely dependable slot receiver for a long time for the Cincinnati Bengals… adding a cost-effective player like Boyd would make a lot of sense.”

Bills News: Zay Jones Scored a Touchdown in Buffalo’s Loss to Jacksonville Last Season

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A post shared by zay jones (@zay)


Playing against the Bills on October 8, Jones registered three catches for 23 yards and a touchdown in the Jaguars’ 25-20 win. However, Jones exited the game after suffering a knee injury in the third quarter. Overall, he missed half the season due to various injuries.

Jones returned to play in Week 18, catching-6-of-9 targets for 49 yards against the Titans. But Jacksonville’s 28-20 loss eliminated the Jaguars from the playoffs.

“Obviously frustration, not ending on the note that we wanted to end on and not doing the things that we set out to accomplish,” Jones said afterward, per The Florida Times-Union. “But gratitude because just the position that we’re in.”

After such a turbulent season, Jones told the outlet the main lesson he learned was patience. “There is strength in not being able to control everything. There’s strength in surrendering and having confidence,” he said. “Have faith that things are going to work out for yourself in the end.

“Whether changes occur, whatever happens, I’m really just looking forward to the future and what we can do. I’ll take these lessons with me this offseason and try to help grow myself as a leader, as a teammate, and as a brother.”

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