Report: Big gap between Bills, Steve Johnson

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Much of the talk regarding long-term contracts in Buffalo has centered lately on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.  But another key player is poised to become an unrestricted free agent after the season.

Receiver Steve Johnson also is in the last year of his rookie contract, at a base salary of $1.2 million.  According to WGR radio in Buffalo, the divide currently sits at more than $2 million per year.

With only one franchise tag to be used, the Bills need to at least get one of the two players signed, in order to use the franchise tag if necessary on the other.

Then again, using the tag on either player may not be ideal.  For Fitzpatrick, the number would exceed $17 million for one year.  For Johnson, it would be in the range of $10 million.

For Bills fans, having successful players is a good problem to have.  But how the front office handles the situation will go a long way toward determining whether the players stay — and also whether enough cap space will be available to address other needs.

25 responses to “Report: Big gap between Bills, Steve Johnson

  1. The Bills have so much cap space and I thought it was for two reasons; 1; motivation, tells those young players to go get it. 2; save money for stadium renovations etc. Nix knows how to pick these guys, can he sign them? I hate reading about WR contract talks. Pre-Madonnas, i always assume they want more than they deserve, like cornerbacks.

  2. This is the year they should lock these guys up with front-loaded contracts… the Bills have a ton of space under the cap this year.

    Sign Fitz and Stevie, and extend Fast Freddy to a 3 or 4 yr deal and give him the money he deserves.

    But I would think if they make it happen this year with all this room, and front-load the deal, they should be able to make this happen rather easily.

  3. I don’t see how, at this point, the franchise tag would be an option for either of these guys. Neither would command that type of money on the open market but there would surely be suitors.

    Would any team in this league pay 17m+/yr for Fitz? Absolutely not. In a QB league I can see him getting 12m/yr on a short deal though. He’ll be a young 30 next season.

    As for Johnson, who is 100% legit, and plays with some serious passion, I can see him coming in under Holmes for around 8m/yr. Even if he has a record year, he still needs some longevity before someone pays him as a top WR in this league. Two seasons isn’t enough with his injuries that pop up from time to time. There’s no way he’ll get Johnson/Fitz money. Still deserves a nice deal though. Legit #1 so far.

    It’s not like you HAVE to use a FT. If they want to keep them and know it, just give them an actual contract.

  4. In the grand scheme of things, $2 mil is not a huge divide. My guess is the Bills are currently offering $6-$7 million per year and he wants $8-$9. That’s not a huge divide and is certainly something that can be worked out.

  5. ive been a bills fan my whole life they better sign them both for as long as they can and stop being cheap. I understand there a small market team but they would sell more tickets if they actuallty put talent on the field and kept it there. I mean come on, this league is for entertaining purposes but for along time now the bills have not be entertaining. i mean they come out good the first 5 weeks but after that we are not relivent. I just hope the bills orginization gets it right this time around. I will be at the game this weekend so go bills!

  6. If either of these guys is not a Bill next year, I will turn in all my gear. For once since Eric Moulds and Doug Floutie, I give a rip about our players.

  7. It’s not just about tickets. In fact, it’s hardly about tickets. The key work is marketability. With our new unis, and our fun players, we will indeed become a lot more marketable…

    Now that we finally have a good core, we can load up this off-season. Pay OUR people, Ralph!

  8. You know i hope they both get paid but lets face it they should be in the top 15 pay range not top 5. Hopefully both realize that. I wouldn’t want the Bills to pay them top 5, nor do I want to see them try to pay them like they are 30 in their class either

  9. The Bills are the cheapest team in the NFL… is anyone surprised? They don’t pay anyone. They let good players walk away. Anyone else surprised that they have been awful for the past 10 years.

  10. The reason that how this is handled is so important is because how they treat this trio (Fitz, STevie & Fast Freddy) will speak volumes to the locker room & potential free agents in the future….

    They need to lock these guys up with FAIR deals… which would make both of them rich beyondtheir wildest dreams… AND extend and substantially increase Fred Jackson’s pay… there is NO WAY he should be the 40th highest paid RB in the league… its an insult. Making it right with him will go miles in relations with other players in the locker room AND the fans (Freddy is a fan favorite)…

    Lets actually do things right, Buffalo Bills! time to PUT UP of SHUT UP!

  11. These negotiations will get easier starting this week.

    The Bills are hitting a tougher part in their schedule and Fitz and Stevie’s projected numbers will not look as good as they do after 2 weeks……..

  12. @bigfranky75 says:
    Sep 21, 2011 8:19 AM
    This is the year they should lock these guys up with front-loaded contracts… the Bills have a ton of space under the cap this year.


    SPOT-ON!!! and they Nix & Co. need to show the players quickly that they are THE guys! … and the coin is there for those that produce. Talk is cheap, performance is powerful!

    Front-loading the contracts also allows the Bills to attack the OL market like they tried to do with T. Clabo (Atl) early in Free Agency

  13. Since Stevie is a dirty player, his value isn’t as high as he thinks it is.

    Must be a whiny chiefs fan!

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