The Buffalo Bills are unlikely to pick up the fifth-year option on the rookie contract for wide receiver Sammy Watkins by the NFL's May 2 deadline, The Buffalo News learned Friday.
According to an NFL source, the Bills aren't comfortable with committing to a fifth year with Watkins while he is still recovering from foot surgery.
That doesn't rule out the Bills deciding to either apply a franchise tag to Watkins after the 2017 season and/or sign him to a contract extension if he has a strong year.
The fifth-year option would cost the Bills $13.258 million, which is guaranteed against injury. The franchise tag is expected to be roughly $3 million more.
On Friday night, the Bills used their second-round pick in the NFL draft to select East Carolina wideout Zay Jones.
The Bills traded with the Los Angeles Rams to move up from 44th to 37th in the second round. They gave the Rams their 91st pick, in the third round, and acquired LA's 149th choice, in the fifth round.
Asked if the selection of Jones would be a factor in the Bills' decision on Watkins, coach Sean McDermott said, "It doesn’t, it doesn’t at all. Sammy’s a good football player and these are two separate silos."