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
  • 140326 Wilson MAIN ART.jpg Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. dies

    Ralph C. Wilson Jr., the man solely responsible for the Buffalo Bills, has died at the age of 95

    March 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • 140124 Browns ART.jpg Browns hire Bills' DC Mike Pettine as new head coach

    The Browns have hired Buffalo defensive coordinator Mike Pettine as their coach, ending a twisting, nearly four-week search.

    January 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 131230 Bills Pats ART.jpg Blount leads Pats to bye with win over Bills
    LeGarrette Blount rushed for a career-high 189 yards and two touchdowns and had two long kickoff returns as New England beat the visiting Buffalo Bills 34-20 on a rainy Sunday.

    December 29, 2013 1 Photo

  • 131216 Bills Jags ART.jpg Bills bag the Jags

    EJ Manuel's latest trip to the Sunshine State was considerably better than his last.

    December 15, 2013 1 Photo

  • lpt bills art 2 120913 Bills stomped by Buccaneers, 27-6

    It was a long day for E.J. Manuel and the Buffalo Bills in Tampa on Sunday. Manuel threw four interceptions, the Bills were nearly abysmal on offense, and Buffalo fell to 4-9 on the season with a 27-6 loss to the Bucs.

    December 8, 2013 2 Photos

  • 131202 Bills 1B ART.jpg Another loss in Toronto

    The Falcons made the Bills unravel in Buffalo’s controversial home away from home.

    December 1, 2013 1 Photo

  • LPTBillsART111813.jpg Bills click on all cylinders in win over Jets

    For Bills safety Jairus Byrd, there was nothing like the sight of watching Jets backup quarterback Matt Simms trot out on the field early in the fourth quarter Sunday.

    November 18, 2013 1 Photo

  • 131113 Bills Lockport MAIN art.jpg Lockport in ‘Catch 22’

    Bills players Fred Jackson and Aaron Williams took the time to pose for pictures and sign Bills memorabilia for eager Lockport fans.

    November 12, 2013 1 Photo

  • 131111 Bills MAIN ART.jpg Steel City meltdown
    The Pittsburgh Steelers promised to get back to basics after a horrific first half of the season. A little help from the Buffalo Bills didn't hurt either.

    November 10, 2013 1 Photo

  • 131104 Bills Chiefs MAIN art.jpg KC still perfect

    The Kansas City Chiefs can thank their opportunistic defense for keeping their perfect start intact.

    November 3, 2013 2 Photos

Featured Ads
Community Events
Photos


Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Front page
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
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.