The Buffalo Bills want to keep wide receiver Stevie Johnson, but they will not use the franchise tag in order to do it.

The Buffalo News reports that the Bills won't place the $9.6 million franchise tag on their star receiver, who can become an unrestricted free agent if the team doesn't work out a long-term deal by March 13.

The Bills and Johnson's agent, C.J. Laboy, have been talking, but a source told the paper that at no time during talks has mention of the franchise tag come up.

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com