This is the part where Bills fans might want to panic.
A source “familiar with the negotiations” has told the Associated Press that the Bills and star wide receiver Stevie Johnson are “far apart” in their current contract negotiations. The source also claims that Johnson doesn’t believe the Bills will use their franchise tag to retain Johnson. The person spoke with The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because talks are ongoing.
Last week, the two sides exchanged proposals, but apparently neither side has budged at this point.
If the Bills did decide to slap Johnson with the franchise tag, it would cost the Bills $9.4 million in 2012. A big-money contract take up a good chunk of the team’s remaining cap room. The Bills haven’t used the franchise tag since 2006, when the team used it to retain Nate Clements.
Losing Stevie would be a huge blow to this team. Without him, there’s certainly not a #1 WR on this team, and there’s probably not even a legitimate #2 at this point either. The team still has a few weeks to negotiate with Johnson, so maybe it’s not quite time to panic yet…but it’s getting close.