Before the Bills worked out a long-term deal that makes quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick their quarterback of the present and future, it was believed that the Bills would turn to receiver Stevie Johnson as soon as Fitzpatrick agreed to terms, given that Johnson (like Fitzpatrick) will be a free agent after the season.
A full 48 hours after Fitzpatrick’s deal was done, the Bills have not yet renewed discussions with Johnson, per a source with knowledge of the situation. As we previously reported, the two sides traded offers before the regular-season began, but the talks quickly reached impasse and ended.
It’s now believed that the Bills will be focusing in the short term on extending the deals of players like kicker Rian Lindell and offensive lineman Erik Pears, both of whom are in the final year of their contracts, too.
That could mean the Bills are willing to use the franchise tag on Johnson, which would pay him in the range of $10 million for 2012. Given that he entered the league as a seventh-rounder and that he’s making only $1.2 million this year, he probably wouldn’t complain about that, if that’s what happens.