Attention Buffalo Bills Management: Steve Johnson Must Stay!!!!


By Ron Bullard

Oftentimes when a sports franchise takes a negative turn and ends up being one of the worst teams of their respective leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB, etc) you can look back on a poor front office decision that sparked the downward spiral. Whether it’s from a bad trade or from not locking up key players the end result’s always the same, the franchise guilty of the mistake(s) suffers and in some cases the suffering can last for decades.

You can look at the NBA’s 76ers team of the 1980’s for an example of what I am talking about. Shortly following their 1982-83 championship season several players from that team were traded away, and although they did have a young future Hall Of Famer in Charles Barkley they wouldn’t return to the NBA Finals until the 2001 season which they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 4-1. That’s almost twenty years later people, yes thanks to Charles Barkley there were several playoff appearences in that span but during his tenure as a Sixer they (thanks largely in part to Michael Jordan) never came close to reaching the Finals. This is about as good of an example I can use to support my point of bad choices yielding bad results which brings us to the topic of the article.

To put it bluntly it would be an absolutely stupid move on the Bills behalf to not resign Steve Johnson. Now before everyone attempts to take this and run with it allow me to slow your motion! Their will be some who will suggest my words indicate that Johnson is the Bills most important player. No, I am not saying that but I am saying that Johnson is the Bills’ most important wide receiver.

Close your eyes and envision this unit without him for a moment. It’s a scary thought isn’t it? That’s not a dig at the rest of the receiving core I think these guys are great, but at the same time I feel in order for these guys to be at their best Johnson has to be on the field. If you’re a receiver in the National Football League apparently you’re good or you wouldn’t be here in the first place. So everybody’s good but not everybody has an it factor and Steve Johnson (fortunately for the Bills) definitely has it and the best way I can depict it is by calling it what it is “charisma.” That’s something you’re born with people and not something that can be taught. It comes across in his play which is what makes him a special talent, one that would not be easily replaced should the Bills let him take his show on the road instead of keeping him around to dazzle the faithful fans on Sundays at “The Ralph”.

Let’s face it – there’s plenty of stellar play at his position (WR) in the NFL but even if you’re not a fan of the Bills you want to see Johnson score just to see what he does next. Besides being one heck of a wide receiver the guy’s pure entertainment, he brings and added excitement to the game that leaves the fans of Buffalo and around the league clamouring for more. Buffalo’s considered a small market team so anyone who can bring extra interest their way should be looked at as a valuable asset to the organization. Everyone wondered how things would be once Lee Evans was shown the door and I think Johnson has done an excellent job ensuring us all that the receiving corps is in good hands with him as the number one option. Doing so more by his play than anything he’s ever said or ever could say during an interview with the press.  STEVE JOHNSON MUST STAY!

The Bills  can’t afford to gamble on the notion they can just replace the presence that Johnson brings to the huddle. Confidence and swagger are traits that are felt by teammates, they can feed off of them and raise their level of play because of it. You’d be hard pressed to name five other receivers in the league who displays more tenacity and more of a willingness to embrace a spot light that so many others try to shy away from. This is not easy to replace by no stretch of the imagination and any owner, general manager, or head coach that trys to convince themselves otherwise will never experience a high level of success. I say that because in order to succeed one has to know what one needs to be successful, and keeping players on your roster with inborn qualities that can’t be taught is a definite step in the right direction. Bad decisions alot of times can cause a ripple affect which lead to other bad decisions and ultimately makes you one of the leagues perennial cellar dwellers of your respective divisions. So with all this being said I think it’s quite obvious that it would be a really bad business decision on behalf of the entire Buffalo Bills organization to allow a very talented Steve Johnson to simply fly away like a once caged bird suddenly freed. So I say one last time to all of  you “STEVE JOHNSON MUST STAY”!!