"We have made the decision not to re-sign Donald," Nix said in the team's official statement. "We’re going in a different direction and this move today gives Donald the opportunity to catch on with another team early on in the process. We thank him for his years with our organization and wish him the best in the future."
The move is a direct contradiction to a WGR 550 report published earlier on Thursday, which indicated that the Bills and Jones were talking about a contract extension. It's unclear what changed in the span of a day; either way, the Bills will be in the market for a new starting wide receiver next season.
Jones, 25, was originally an undrafted free agent out of Youngstown State back in 2010, Nix's first year with the club. In his three years with the Bills, he caught 82 passes for 887 yards with six touchdowns in 35 games.
There's another shoe to drop in this story: David Nelson, a much more accomplished former 2010 undrafted free agent, is also an impending restricted free agent. The 6'5" slot receiver missed all of the 2012 campaign with a knee injury, but is now healthy. In his first two seasons with the Bills, Nelson caught 92 passes for 1,011 yards with eight touchdowns.