Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Bills

February 20, 2012

Bills and Stevie Johnson are far apart

Controversial Buffalo player not “franchise” material yet.

BUFFALO — Stevie Johnson and the Buffalo Bills are still “far apart” in contract talks. And the receiver doesn’t expect the team to use its franchise tag to retain him, a person familiar with discussions told The Associated Press on Sunday.

The person spoke with The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because talks are ongoing.

The update on talks comes after the two sides exchanged offers last week, and agreed to meet at the NFL combine in Indianapolis this week.

Johnson has led the Bills in receiving in each of the past two seasons and is eligible to become a free agent next month.

The Bills have a policy against discussing contract talks. General manager Buddy Nix did say last month that he would like to re-sign Johnson.

Starting Monday, NFL teams can begin using a franchise tag to retain the rights of their prospective free agents.

Applying the tag would not prevent the Bills from continuing to negotiate a long-term contract with Johnson. However, if a deal is not reached, it would put the team in a position to have to pay the receiver about $9.4 million next season.

Such a contract would handcuff the Bills’ payroll, and limit their ability to sign other free agents to improve a team that’s not made the playoffs in 12 seasons — the NFL’s longest active drought.

The Bills haven’t used the tag since 2006, when they designated cornerback Nate Clements their franchise player. Clements signed the $7.2 million offer, under the condition the team would allow him to become a free agent the following season.

Johnson has not discussed how much he’s seeking, except to say he’s not asked the team to pay him $9 million or $10 million a season, which would put him in the upper echelon of NFL receivers.

Johnson’s value has gone up since the Bills took a chance on using a seventh-round pick on selecting the player out of Kentucky in the 2008 draft. Sparingly used in his first two seasons, Johnson’s production took off in 2010, when he had 82 catches for 1,073 yards and 10 touchdowns in supplanting veteran Lee Evans as the Bills’ top threat.

Johnson maintained his production this season after Buffalo traded Evans to Baltimore in August. He finished with 76 catches for 1,004 yards and seven touchdowns in becoming the team’s first receiver to have consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.

As productive as he’s been, Johnson has landed in hot water for his over-the-top celebrations. He was benched for the final three quarters of the Bills’ finale at New England after being flagged a second time in six games — and third time in two years — for an excessive touchdown celebration.

Losing Johnson would be a big blow to a Bills offense that lacks experienced depth at the receiver position, and for an offense that made strides under quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick last season. Despite a 6-10 finish, in which Buffalo lost eight of its final nine games, the Bills finished 14th in the NFL in yards gained — the team’s best showing since finishing 11th in 2002.

1
Text Only
Bills
  • 140719 Bills Camp SEC ART.jpg Bills will open camp Sunday

    Home-run hitters generally strike out a lot

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140717 Together Again MAIN art.jpg Reed & Kelly: Together again

    Andre Reed will have his old signal-caller right there with him to celebrate in Canton.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140712 Bills Stadium ART.jpg Bills stadium report delayed

    A state-commissioned report that had been anticipated Friday identifying potential sites for a new Buffalo Bills stadium is now expected at the end of the month.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140604 Bills Dareus ART.jpg Dareus 'dismissed' by Bills for 2 weeks

    Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is taking the next two weeks off from voluntary practices as he faces criminal charges for the second time in a month.

    June 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Golisano, Tom.jpg Golisano plans to buy Bills

    Former Sabres owner Tom Golisano is interested in purchasing the Buffalo Bills, said people involved with the negotiations.

    May 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Buffalo Bills are officially for sale

    The "for sale" sign is up at the Buffalo Bills with the hiring of financial and legal advisers who may begin talking with prospective buyers within the next month.

    May 22, 2014

  • 140510 Bills Draft ART.jpg Bills take Alabama OL Kouandjio

    The Bills opened the second round on Friday by trading down three spots and selecting Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio with the 44th pick.

    May 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140509 Bills Draft ART.jpg Bold draft move by the Bills

    Doug Whaley made a bold move in opening his first NFL draft as the Buffalo Bills general manager.

    May 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140507 Bills Draft ART.jpg I'll take a draft

    The Buffalo Bills’ approach to the NFL draft this year has much to do with EJ Manuel.

    May 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140424 Bills Sched ART.jpg Are you ready for some football?

    Once again, the conservative Buffalo Bills will not be a featured prime time nationally televised home team this coming season.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Photos


Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Front page
AP Video
'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
Seasonal Content
Helium debate
Helium
Section Teases

Seasonal Content
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.