Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson had a rough 2013 season as he missed four games and failed to reach 1,000 receiving yards for the first time since 2009.
The immediate aftermath of the season wasn’t much better for Johnson. Chris Brown of the Bills’ website said in an interview that the Bills coaching staff did not think they “could effectively get in his head” and that he thought it would be hard to “reel” Johnson into what the team is trying to do.
During his press conference at the combine on Thursday, coach Doug Marrone was asked about that commentary and said that he’s spoken with Johnson to let him know that wasn’t the way that Marrone felt about the receiver.
“I’ve been communicating with Stevie about something to that effect,” Marrone said, via Tim Graham of the Buffalo News. “We had a great conversation. I told Stevie, ‘Hey, listen. I’m excited about getting started with you. I’m excited about you coming in and getting healthy and get this team going … and whatever else you’re hearing, it’s not coming from me.’”
The Bills would realize no real benefit from parting ways with Johnson this year as they’d save just $25,000 under the salary cap, so it behooves them to get whatever they can from him on the field next season. Things change on the cap front come 2015 and Johnson will probably be at a fair amount of risk when that year rolls along, especially if a major bounceback doesn’t come in 2014.