Stevie is staying home!
The Buffalo Bills announced Monday morning (precisely 9:28am) that they have reached a contract extension with receiver Stevie Johnson. The deal is reported to be five years, $36.25 million, and $19.5 million guaranteed. Johnson is scheduled to make $24 million of the contract’s first three years.
Despite the sizable extension, this move is undisputedly the correct decision for the Bills. In 2011, Johnson became the only receiver in franchise history to record back-to-back 1,000 yard receiving seasons. In addition, 25 percent of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s passes in the past two years have been completed to Johnson.
Above his success on the field, Johnson continues to flourish his friendship with Fitzpatrick while emerging as a fan favorite. Johnson has passionately endorsed the #BillsMafia movement and continues to display how hard work pays off.
Perhaps, this re-signing is more than One Bills Drive retaining a top talent that has made his way through Buffalo. The retention of Johnson represents a change of culture that has occurred throughout the organization. For one, we can note that Buddy Nix is truly a man of his word. Bills CEO Russ Brandon said on Monday that the Bills core philosophy is, “Draft, develop, and retain.” This philosophy is surely enforced with the team re-signing Johnson. In years past, we have helplessly watched as quality “home-grown” players have hastily packed their bags and left for other teams. With this move, it is evident that players capable of producing will be monetarily rewarded.
Although this news is quite exciting, we must keep in mind that the Bills did not get better today, they just simply did not get worse. Allowing Johnson to walk would have left a gaping hole at receiver for the Bills, therefore it was imperative for the Bills to re-sign him. This is most definitely a step in the right direction for the 2012 season, however improvement will come via free agency and the 2012 NFL Draft. Nix has stated multiple times this offseason that he has intentions of adding another big receiver to line up opposite of Johnson that is “open even when he is being covered.” With an atmosphere of excitement, the Bills can now focus on gaining their next asset for an explosive offense.
Congratulations Stevie Johnson, keep handling business and having fun. Bills Mafia loves you!
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