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Blog Entry

Report: Bills won't franchise tag Stevie Johnson

Posted on: February 21, 2012 10:04 am
Edited on: February 21, 2012 11:08 am
 
Johnson could be a free man if he and Buffalo don't work out a deal. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Stevie Johnson's an interesting test case for the wide-receiver market in 2011; he and the Bills are reportedly exchanging numbers, but they're also reportedly "far apart" in contract negotiations.

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And now, the Bills reportedly won't be using the franchise tag on Johnson if they can't reach a long-term deal before March 5. That's according to Rodney McKissic of The Buffalo News, who reports that the "franchise tag option hasn't been discussed during negotiations" between the team and Johnson.

As we noted previously, Johnson's in a weird spot when it comes to his market value. $9.4 million -- the guaranteed money involved in the franchise tag -- seems like too much for Johnson. But he's certainly not a $5 million per year wide receiver.

And much of what he could get on the open market depends on how other situations play out. If, hypothetically, Marques Colston, Dwayne Bowe, DeSean Jackson, Vincent Jackson, Reggie Wayne and Wes Welker (to name just a few) all hit the market along with Johnson, his stock will drop faster than a potential game-winning catch against the Jets.

Then there's the fact that the Bills would hurt themselves in negotiations if they discussed the franchise tag. Should Johnson's camp believe the tag is an option, it a) reduces the rush to get a deal done before March 5 and b) means the Bills are automatically negotiating from a bare minimum of $9.5 million in guaranteed money.

The only surprising thing is that Buffalo is apparently willing to let their biggest playmaker in the passing game walk; without Johnson, the 6'5" David Nelson steps into the role as top playmaker, barring the Bills being able to bring another high-end free agent into Buffalo.

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Comments

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2012 9:42 am
 

Report: Bills won't franchise tag Stevie Johnson

What good is building through the draft if every player that turns out to be good is allowed to walk because you won't pay?

Franchises have to pick who they're going to pay and who they're not.  If the Bills don't want to overpay a guy who they can't count on to make the basic play with the game on the line (bad case of the dropsies), I completely understand.  I think a problem fans have is seeing a guy who might be the best on their team and thinking he's actually a star.  I've seen it in all sports, and as a suffering Seattle fan, I've watched our fans build up average players to be better than they are because we didn't have anything else.  

It's not that Stevie Johson doesn't have talent.  He does.  He's just erratic and not worth the kind of money he's asking for.  There's an old saying that when you need something (or someone) bad, that's what you get - something bad.  Signing Johnson to the money he's asking for would be an act of desperation and a potentially crippling franchise move.  With Vincent Jackson, Dwayne Bowe, Brandon Lloyd, Wes Welker, Desean Jackson, Marques Colston, Reggie Wayne, and Laurent Robinson all unrestricted free agents, odds are the Bills could get someone better for the same money or someone similar cheaper.  



Since: May 12, 2011
Posted on: February 22, 2012 5:11 pm
 

Report: Bills won't franchise tag Stevie Johnson

I happen to agree that Johnson is a very good revceiver. I do not think him a number 1 but others may. He fits the bills plans but he has a big city attitude. If San Fran or Green Bay were calling, he is a number 3. New Orleans or San Diego, two maybe three. He fits with Pittsburg as a 3, maybe a 2 with New  England, only if you do not count TE's.


The Bills are not stuck with him and wish him only the best. Just tell me what team he fits on as a #1? Cleveland, Minnisota, Jacksonville. There are a lot of receivers like him, he was a nice fit in Buffalo till he made it all about him.  He is good not great. It is a bad year for him to be a free agent, there are just to many better than him in the market. He is not even top 5 in the free agent market at his position.


 



Since: Jul 3, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2012 12:53 pm
 

Report: Bills won't franchise tag Stevie Johnson

Steve Johnson is welcome on my team any day. He's highly talented and has actually had a very good career to this point. IMO I think there's about 15 teams on which he would be the number 1 receiver. All you can really knock on him is that he's simply a ridiculous man, but even so, he's a regular offensive force. Given some molding, he'd be really be one of the great players in this league.

I simply can't understand why the Bills aren't catering to his demands when you consider what they gave Fitzpatrick, who is a league average QB at best. I understand that your QB is more important than a receiver, but what if you moved the Wins Above Replacement stat from baseball to football? Stevie would probably have a very high WAR among receivers; Fitzpatrick would have a lower one, which only prevents the Bills from pursuing a better QB. So at the point you have to commit to Fitzpatrick, I feel you would at the least want to surround him with his most familiar targets.



Since: Jan 17, 2010
Posted on: February 22, 2012 10:38 am
 

Report: Bills won't franchise tag Stevie Johnson

And then spend the remaining 9 draft picks on the defensive backfield.




Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: February 22, 2012 8:26 am
 

Report: Bills won't franchise tag Stevie Johnson

I hope the Vikings draft Khalil & sign Stevie Johnson.



Since: Jun 21, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2012 7:28 am
 

Report: Bills won't franchise tag Stevie Johnson

C'mon people.  We all know the Bills will not sign Johnson because they need the money to sign all the Pro Bowl players on their team.  Typical Bills.  They'll let Johnson go because they won't give him $7MM a year, and then they will wait until all the other free agent WR's are gone, and sign some washed up player for $9MM a one year.  (Or they sign another Div 3 guy, no one has ever heard of). 




Since: Jan 27, 2012
Posted on: February 22, 2012 7:10 am
 

Report: Bills won't franchise tag Stevie Johnson

Look Chan Gailey, I understand that celebrating is unsportsman-like BUT give him a break. Steve Johnson is a good receiver who has a chance to be great. If the Bills don't want you, then someone will happily pick you up. Seem like Gailey doesn't want star power on his team. Yes the celebration were over the top, but at the same time, Steve Johnson was producing. The only team that wouldn't be interested in Steve Johnson beside the Bills are the New York Jets..........LOL



Since: Oct 28, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:37 pm
 

Report: Bills won't franchise tag Stevie Johnson

What good is building through the draft if every player that turns out to be good is allowed to walk because you won't pay? You can't draft a position and give the guy 4 years only to let him walk. It's the way to never build a contender.



Since: Jan 5, 2012
Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:26 pm
 

Report: Bills won't franchise tag Stevie Johnson

stupid move on the bills part



Since: Feb 16, 2011
Posted on: February 21, 2012 7:24 pm
 

Report: Bills won't franchise tag Stevie Johnson

Stevie Johnson would look great in a Panthers uniform lined up with Cam Newton, Steve Smith, Deangelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Greg Olsen and company.  The Panthers wouldnt have to fix their defense....they would put 40 on the scoreboard every game!


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