Even though Chan Gailey is in Indianapolis this week to get a better handle on the prospects in the 2012 draft class, there's a receiver from his roster whose future with the club may be decided this week in the very same city.
With the representatives for Stevie Johnson in Indianapolis to continue discussions with the Bills on a new contract for the free agent wide receiver, Buffalo's head coach reiterated his preference to have his top passing target back in the fold for 2012 and beyond. At the same time he knows the reality of NFL contract talks when it comes to sizable long term investments.
"He's very important to us and we'd love to have him," said Gailey. "The thing you learn to say in this business is you don't ever want to say you can't live without somebody because as soon as you say that you learn to live without them. But we would like to have him. He's very important to our football team. He made a bunch of big plays for us. We hope it works out, but it's business."
Gailey told Buffalobills.com that he will not be a part of the team's meetings with Johnson's representatives, which reportedly will take place on Friday in Indianapolis.
"I don't get involved in the negotiation process of things," said Gailey. "That's Buddy (Nix) and the management group. I don't get involved in that. I think that's a very quick way to alienate players because you sit in there and they're talking how great they are and management is saying, 'Well look your stats don't do this and don't do that' to try to balance the playing field. It's no place for a coach."
With a little over two weeks before the free agent market opens will Gailey be waiting with fingers crossed?
"Yeah, but at the same time I've been in it long enough to understand the game is going to go on if you don't get everybody you want," he said. "But at the same time you'd like to have everything you can get."