Stevie Johnson, Buffalo Bills Closing In On A 5-Year Deal
As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Twitter, the Buffalo Bills and emerging star receiver Stevie Johnson are closing in a 5-year deal that is expected to be finalized within the next 24 hours. This is a bit surprising that the Bills are willing to extend their mercurial receiver for that many years, but then again, in an email to the Associated Press, Johnson’s agent, C.J. LaBoy, said he was “very optimistic” after describing talks as being “productive.
Athletically, Johnson is one of the best young wideouts in the league and was the reason why Buffalo jumped off to a 5-2 start. However, his maturity has marred his stellar on-field performance. In 2010, the 25-year-old blamed God for his crucial drop in a game against Pittsburgh and in 2011, he famously mocked soon-to-be former Jets receiver Plaxico Burress’s 2008 self-inflicted gunshot wound during a touchdown celebration and again against New England several weeks later.
Last year, Johnson had a team high 76 catches for 1004 yards with 7 touchdown grabs. He was the first Bills receiver since Eric Moulds to post back-to-back 75 catch seasons for the team.
Despite his maturity issues, keeping Johnson in western New York was a critical move. He’s the one deep threat that the Bills could rely on and they were on the verge of competing for the playoffs before their offensive do-it-all star running back Fred Jackson was sidelined for the season.
With Jackson and Johnson in the fold, Buffalo will be returning many of its offensive starters from the team that started off so strongly. That’s why keeping the receiver was the team’s chief offseason concern and the Bills wisely locked him before another team could make him an offer he couldn’t refuse.