First Donald Jones, now David Nelson.
The Buffalo Bills have declined to welcome back their second-leading receiver from each of the past two years.
Two days after Nelson expressed alarm about learning on Twitter the Bills would not bring him back, the Bills announced Sunday they will not extend a qualifying offer to him.
Nelson was a restricted free agent. Without a tendered offer, he will be free to sign with any team without the Bills receiving compensation.
“We spoke with David Nelson’s agent this morning and informed him that we will not tender David,” Bills General Manager Buddy Nix said in a team statement.
Nelson, an undrafted rookie in 2010 from the University of Florida, was a popular overachiever. In his first year, he caught 31 passes for 353 yards and three touchdowns.
His 61 receptions and 658 yards in 2011 were second on the Bills to Stevie Johnson. Nelson also had five touchdowns, including a dramatic 6-yard grab with 14 seconds left to beat the Oakland Raiders in the home opener. The receiver was credited with starting 13 games in 2011.
But Nelson suffered a season-ending knee injury on opening day against the New York Jets last year. He had caught two passes in that game, bringing his career totals to 94 catches for 1,042 yards and eight touchdowns.
At the Super Bowl media center three weeks ago, Nelson told The News he expected to be fully recovered in time for training camp.
“The way it’s progressing right now, I’m hoping to be full-go for OTAs,” Nelson said. “I’ll try to work myself in slowly and then be full-go for mandatory minicamp and then hit camp at 100 percent.
“It was a blessing to have it happen so early. Now I can be ready to go.”
The Bills last week announced they would not tender Jones, another 2010 undrafted rookie with health issues. Jones had 41 catches for 443 yards and four touchdowns, stats that ranked second among all wide receivers behind Johnson.