Report: Bills, Stevie Johnson “far apart” in contract talks

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We noted on Thursday that the Bills and receiver Stevie Johnson have exchanged contract proposals. But that may not have been the sign of progress that it initially appeared to be.

The Associated Press quotes an unnamed person familiar with the contract talks as saying that the two sides are “far apart.” They’re scheduled to talk at the Scouting Combine, but if they’re far apart now, there may not be enough time to get a deal done before the start of free agency on March 13.

That raises the question of whether the Bills would put the franchise tag on Johnson. The report says Johnson doesn’t expect the Bills to use the franchise tag, but then again Johnson may not know what the Bills’ plans are in that regard.

The franchise tender for wide receivers will be about $9.6 million for the 2012 season.

52 responses to “Report: Bills, Stevie Johnson “far apart” in contract talks

  1. Overpaying for him wouldn’t be the best idea anyways. They’d be better served going after Vincent Jackson who provides some big play ability, or even Brandon Lloyd. Colston could do all Johnson does though without being a jackass.

  2. i guess you could say they are really dropping the ball on these negotiations.

    i hope they dont shoot themselves in the leg and then crash and burn.

  3. tallguyme,

    are you high? Not a Patriots type of player. No thanks !

    But can’t blame him for wanting more $$ to play for the NFL’s version of Siberia.

  4. With 9.6 mil he could afford to hire a coach to teach him to catch the ball when it counts. Then again, can you teach someone how not to choke?

  5. Stevie is a solid player. I hope we can pay him FAIR MARKET VALUE, and bring him back. We do not need to break the bank on him like he is Andre or Calvin Johnson. The fact of the matter is that he is a #2 WR on 90% of the other teams in the NFL. Bring back Stevie, and go after Vincent Jackson or a true #1 target. Then finally we would be some scary weapons! I am sure its a pipe dream, but the Buddy Nix connection with V. Jackson has me hoping for a miracle. Id love to have Stevie back, but someone on the roster would take over where he has left off. He is not a superstar wideout, however he can be with a solid threat on the other side!!

  6. Dear “ampats”, I hate to tell you but Stevie Johnson going to New England would be the best thing you guys could do in free agency. I would EMPHATICALLY hoping the Pats would win the Super Bowl, but their lack of wideouts was exploited majorly without Gronkowski in there. I think any Pats fan saw that.

  7. Get him on the Vikes for 8 mil a year. He’d be a good pickup for their passing offense and he’s still young.

  8. Cosey- I agree. I would take him but think they should go after colston or Lloyd. They need a big play guy

  9. Corey Dillion, moss, Rodney, hanesworth all not patriot kind of guys. He would shut up for BB. He demands respect and to be a team guy

  10. coseybedaman,

    sorry but a selfish me first player does not fit in on the “Patriots Way AKA Belichick type player”. His stupidity cost the Bills this year and there are several other free agent WR that are better fits.

    And if anyone cares to bring up Ochocinco how many issues did his behavior cost NE?

  11. Oh who saw this coming? The post earlier in the week about johnson had bills fans praising him this guy thinks hes the best in football. They walked in with a somewhat low ball offer most likely and johnsons prob wanting $15-20mil a year

  12. .

    Patriots offseason needs : a 9.6 million ( minimum) diva WR who can’t catch and acts the fool on the field. Also, a left-handed backup long snapper.

  13. Dude isn’t going to NE. First, I didn’t even know the Patriots even had a outside WR on their roster. At this point they are a TE driven offense. To me they need a RB first. They can’t continue to be one dimensional. It’s worked to a point but they get exposed when it really counts.

  14. If the Niners don’t get Bowe he should be the next option. He’s good in a short passing game because he has jukes and speed. But can he catch.

  15. I did not watch all of the Bills’ games the past year nor did I particularly focus on Johnson when I did watch them. I do not believe that Johnson will have other teams beating down his door with huge offers. His antics in the end zone, his key dropped passes, and seeming stupidity make him a risky addition to any team. I really can’t see offering him a large amount of guaranteed money. The Bills would be better off by going after Colston, Jackson, or several other free agents.

    Johnson is an erratic number two; at best.

  16. Mark this Down. He will be a Buffalo Bill in 2012. Name me one WR in the NFL that gave Revis the types of fits Johnson has. He is not going anywhere. Worst case will be tagged and extended next year. With the money they are not going to extend Fred Jackson with.

  17. Losing Steve Johnson might be the equivalent to the Giants losing their leading receiver to the Eagles. Steve Smith… big numbers doesn’t always mean big presence.

  18. Steve Johnson will be with Buffalo next year, and for many years to come.. He is a #1 receiver, but I would love to see Lee Evans back with the Bills.He does not fit with the Ravens at all!!! My Bills will make the playoffs next year!!!

  19. Where do these dive wide receivers do their $$$$ analysis? Memo to Stevie: you are not a #1 receiver on two-thirds of NFL teams. Learn how to hold onto the ball and come back in 2 yrs.

  20. Johnson would be wise to come to terms with the Bills. He is comfortable in their offense and I don’t think he will be as productive with another team.

  21. Ampats,
    You know nothing about Stevie Johnson if you feel he is a selfish player with any kind of character issues. The guy has never been in any kind of trouble, and there is nothing wrong with an endzone celebration the last time I checked. The NFL needs to get over themselves. Gronk & Brady can make a spectacle as they spike the ball to the moon or dunk on the goal post, but God forbid a guy has a T-shirt on UNDER HIS UNIFORM!! Any Bills fan knows Stevie has no character issues AT ALL! He is a young, excitable player who likes to get the fans involved. He does not put himself first. Coach Gailey was even irate after his last TD celebration because the first time he had the T shirt on (why so serious) he was NOT called for any penalty. Referee consistency is the problem, not Stevie Johnson’s attitude. Yes he needs to catch balls, but Stevie’s drop percentage is virtually identical to Welker, Steve Smith, Jordy Nelson, Miles Austin, Brandon Marshall, & Desean Jackson who are all elite wideouts. Stevie gets more attention for his, because he does TD dances & wears TShirts that say HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Give me a break guys!

  22. I wouldn’t want this immature, me-first, diva on my team at all. I honestly wouldn’t take him for the veteran minimum. Dude is a cancer and if I was Buffalo I would slide a napkin across the table that had “$1, 7-years” written on it, but I’d probably be over paying.

  23. thegonz13 says: Feb 19, 2012 7:42 PM

    Seriously, what has Johnson done to warrant a big contract?
    Ummm, 2077 yds and 17 TDs in the last two years?

  24. @purplengold

    Completely different. Stupid comparison.


    Probably not. Still better than anything we have outside of Harvin and Rudolph though.

  25. The Bills are absolute JOKES to have not wrapped him up by now. He is the only WR to have had any success against Revis Island… the best corner in the league….

    Are you telling me that Belicheck hasnt noticed this and would like a player like that on his team knowing he has to face Revis twice a year? Or even still… maybe Rex Ryan would like Stevie on his team so he doesnt have to play against him twice a year….

    the rest of the East is chomping at the bit to get their hands on this guy…. not only because signing him would help their squads, but because signing him would also cripple an up and coming Bills team! improve your team while hurting a division rival? sounds liek a no-brainer to me!

  26. @clifford

    I didn’t know erratic number two receivers frequently posted back to back 1,000 yard seasons while playing on a subpar team with a subpar QB. Nice try.

  27. Could you imagine being lame enough to come on here and make jokes about dropping passes and end zone celebrations? Especially after 20 people before you did so?

  28. babyhorsemorgan says:
    Feb 19, 2012 7:36 PM
    Let me guess, the Bills are offering way more than Steve is asking?


    ” Comment of the year” nominee…very well done sir

  29. ampats says:
    Feb 19, 2012 7:45 PM

    are you high? Not a Patriots type of player. No thanks !

    But can’t blame him for wanting more $$ to play for the NFL’s version of Siberia.

    You are right not a Patriots type of player, Johnson would have to be corrupt. So yeah, he doesn’t really fit the mold there.

    By the way, have you ever been to Green Bay? Its still no Siberia, but its closer than Buffalo is.

  30. SJ played this entire season w a groin injury he never complained about or used as blame for poor play yet still put up 1000 yds. He is not a problem in the locker room nor outside of it. On the contrary to many whod rather embed their minds with bob costas’ hair rather than use their own brain, Johnson is a true team mate and no one on the bills would say otherwise. His td celebrations may have been the only divaish part of his game but y is falling to the ground not ok but going to the ground to “pray” is when many don’t believe? The NFL is “societal” double standard at it’s finest. Big drops? Maybe but what were his drop totals for the year? More than say Bowe? Not quite. Everyone needs to stop speculating on things you know nothing about bc u watched an intern pre written half time segment that points out one instance of a mans life. The real issue w these talks are that they need to bring in D and r a franchise of financial incompetents and don’t know how to do it and get SJ done as well.

    Ps- Burres and Holmes are trash and deserved to be called out for being clowns.

  31. Ralph Wilson doesn’t know if he is @ K-Mart or 1 Bills Drive?

    Nobody wants to play in Buffalo! Watch Buffalo pick up a has been WR just to draw fans into stadium. Then they will draft another bust in the draft!

    Listen people Buffalo is a mediocre sports town. Everything is on the cheap!

    The last time Buffalo was good when we had a GM by the name of Bill Polian!

    Steelerchicken is right, Buffalo is the worst sport franchise next to the Pittsburgh Pirates! Sorry!

  32. 1) To everyone saying he drops too many balls…

    Roddy White led the league in drops this season but has went to the pro bowl for 2 straight years and is still considered not only a #1 WR but an elite WR in the NFL. Sure Stevie’s drops tend to come at the worst of times and may have cost the Bills some games but at least he was there to make the play in the first place by doing everything right to beat the coverage. I look at it as this, he could very well have made those catches and in the future going into the prime of his so far young career he might just make those clutch game winning grabs.

    2) To everyone saying the Bills would be better served going after Vincent Jackson who provides some big play ability…

    When comparing the available free agent wide receivers I think those dubbed as deep threat – big play guys are a tad bit overrated. While that role is very important – it’s not everything and tends to get over talked about. What a lot of fans forget or just don’t understand is just how important the physical and/or technical short-to-intermediate route style receivers are. Stevie Johnson is better than Jackson in his short-to-intermediate route running ability and in his ability to make defenders miss showing better run after catch ability. Plus he’s shown the ability to make plays as a deep threat for the Bills. Yes many teams could use a big-play deep threat like Vincent Jackson but all could use a complete receiver like Stevie Johnson.

    On top of that, Stevie Johnson is younger. He’s just heading into the prime of his career. He’s had a couple good seasons for Buffalo (back to back 1,000 yards is nothing to scoff at) but at only 25 years of age he could be a nice building piece for any team looking to go with a youth movement. Which brings me to my next point.

    3) To all you fellow Viking fans who dislike the idea of signing Stevie Johnson…

    Not only do the Vikings don’t need the prototypical #1 WR but there is none out there in free agency. Besides beggars cannot be choosers and the Vikings are in no position to pass on a player as talented as Stevie Johnson. Percy Harvin has showed us during the second half of this past season what kind of a valuable playmaker he can be (I’de say a borderline #1) so what we need is just someone opposite him who can make plays and draw coverage. Enter Stevie Johnson.

    He knows his position very well and knows what it takes to beat some of the NFL’s best defenders like Revis and can take on double teams and still be productive. His impact on the team shouldn’t solely be based on his plays and stats but also his presence just being on the field each and every play. Part of the benefit to having him on the team would be all the times he opens things up for Percy Harvin and others. He’ll be that other starting wideout who can occasionally draw defenders freeing Harvin up underneath like Sidney Rice once did. Heck even an aging Randy Moss could (go ahead check Harvin’s stats while Moss was with us).

    With the team going for a youth movement and not really a threat to contend before a few more seasons of rebuilding I think Stevie is the right choice over the older WR’s in free agency. Since we already have a young nucleus on offense with Harvin, Ponder, Rudolph, and of course Peterson (All players who are still fairly young and are either in or are heading into their primes.) it’s only right to add a younger guy to the mix not aging veterans like VJAX or Reggie Wayne.

    4) To anyone about to say it doesn’t matter if the Vikings sign him if Ponder is the QB…

    Well just look at what he’s had to play with at the quarterback position while on the Bills. Not much better and while Ponder has had his ups and downs as a rookie (with a shortened offseason due to NFL Lockout mind you) he has showed his play making ability and just needs to cut back on the mistakes. Hmmm sounds familiar… For that’s exactly what Stevie needs to do. If both players can fix their mental lapses in concentration and better their on-field judgement then the Vikes could have a special offense for the future. Connect for many big plays and touchdowns this QB-WR duo alongside Peterson and Harvin would be a challenge for any defense. Choose which one of them to double team while still stacking the box to contain Peterson. That isn’t going to be a easy task for any team’s defense.

  33. P.S. The last few times the Vikings have gotten Buffalo Bill free agents it’s worked out pretty well.

    Antoine Winfield & Pat Williams.

    Winfield has been the heart of the Vikings’ defense ever since he signed as a free agent from Buffalo following the 2003 season. Just like Winfield did I think Stevie Johnson could give the Vikings an immediate boost, leading the team by example and raising the energy of the entire team with his style and personality.

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