The Stevie Johnson Decision

Nov 10, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson (13) catches the ball during warm-ups prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Looking at the Bills roster it seems pretty evident that they will be looking to add some offensive weapons through the draft and free agency this offseason. The need to get “number one” players in certain positions is important but hopefully they could start by retaining their good players to. If you look back and see the players we’ve parted ways with on this roster its clear this team has had its problems with this in the past. One player that may stumble down that path is Stevie Johnson.

Johnson just completing his 6th season as a Bill has been looked at by some as the possible odd man out. His antics over the years and “costly” mistakes have fans calling for a change. Some say he may not be a team guy but I have never seen any instances that would require that drastic of a change. Sure he has done some things that he would want to take back nevertheless hasn’t everybody?

In his time here thus far I believe Stevie has impressed and will continue to do so. His stats are very good and I see no reason why he couldn’t continue at this level and even possibly excel. Route running by far to me is his best quality and if you ever go back and watch the tape of games he’s open a lot. The way he gets off the line and separates himself from the DB’s is phenomenal and is something to see if you haven’t. Some knocks on Stevie may be his lack of concentration late in games (fumbles, dropped passes) but everyone goes through unfortunate circumstances. Nobody wants to have that happen but looking at what he’s done there’s no way you can judge him in my opinion on those seldom negative plays. I have also heard people say these miscues happened during important games for the Bills. None to me were really that important and also are you going to absolutely never forget it because it didn’t cost the Bills anything.

Another thing to look at is that it’s been said the Bills will be looking for another receiver next season. If they were to draft a guy why would you want to get rid of Johnson then? You’re losing all that talent for a guy that might need time to adjust. It just doesn’t make sense. Also looking at his contract and money situation letting him go this season wouldn’t really do anything for the Bills. They would just be saving on the roster bonus ($1.75M) and just another $25,000 during the season. On the other hand if they decided to let him go next season they would be saving considerably more in the way of $8.85M in 2015 and $8.95 in 2016. That being said it definitely looks like the better option to let him go next season if they wanted to.

As you can see I’m not the guy that’s going to tell you cut him because I know talent when I see it. Are there some things that may need fixing? Absolutely there is but if in the end they do parts ways it may be one of the biggest mistakes this new staff makes.

 

Please follow me on Twitter @jstarba

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Topics: Buffalo Bills, NFL Draft, Stevie Johnson

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