Doug Whaley: Stevie Johnson trade done in best interest of the team


The Bills traded next year’s first- and fourth- round picks to the Browns on Thursday and then took Sammy Watkins with the fourth pick, giving their receiving corps a new top dog.

They traded the old one to the 49ers on Friday, sending Stevie Johnson back to his home state in exchange for a conditional 2015 draft pick that could wind up as high as a third rounder. General Manager Doug Whaley released a statement praising what Johnson brought to the team and saying that it was in Buffalo’s “best interest” to proceed without him.

“Stevie was a great contributor during his career with our organization,” Whaley said. “Today’s decision was not an easy one to make, especially involving a player like Stevie who leaves everything he has on the field and is an emotional leader in our locker room. All of the decisions we make are done so in the best interest of our team. We wish him the best of luck in San Francisco and throughout the rest of his NFL career. We also want to thank Stevie and his family for their commitment to the Buffalo Bills and the community over the last six years.”

Johnson suffered through a trying 2013 because of injuries and the loss of his mother, but he put up three straight years with at least 76 catches and 1,000 receiving yards heading into the year. Buffalo will now build their receiving corps around Watkins, recent acquisition Mike Williams and second-year wideout Robert Woods and it could be a better group than any that Johnson was a part of with the Bills.

So is the one that he’ll be joining in San Francisco, though, and that may make today’s deal in everyone’s best interests.

12 responses to “Doug Whaley: Stevie Johnson trade done in best interest of the team

  1. The trade didn’t shock me, just the compensation they got back. They couldn’t get something THIS year? Or a non-conditional 2nd/3rd round pick? Whaley overpaid for Watkins and gave Johnson away too easily.

  2. Kinda sad Stevie’s gone. Gonna miss his skills, passion for the team and flamboyant fashion style. But it was the right thing to do and time for change

    Glad he was dealt to his home team. Good luck #13 and 9ers!

  3. Marshawn Lynch getting traded by the Bills was the best thing that ever happened to him…

  4. Baalke pulled off another heist. Almost as good as getting Boldin for a 6th. Crabtree, Boldin and Johnson make a pretty solid trio of 1K yard receivers.

  5. Fans always like to make one team out to be a winner

    A trade like this could be a win for both teams as well as the player – nothing wrong with that!

  6. I agree. The Bills really had no choice though. He was into drug use and also ran over a woman in Buffalo and fled the scene. He was too big a risk to keep around.

  7. Best route runner in the league hands down. He consistently owned Revis, and there is a GIF out there showing him completely leave Sherman in his jock.

    Sad to see him go, but I’m glad he is with a contender where he will be placed into a niche that fits him perfectly as a slot receiver, and he will thrive, if healthy.

    Glad Buffalo was able to get that much value for him, given his cap hit this and next year. Just wish they got it this year.

    Best of luck to Stevie, he did a lot for the Bills, the fans and the community. I’m glad I got my SJ13 jersey signed last summer!

  8. It was time for him to go. He is starting to break down and he wasn’t going to be #1 anymore so not sure how he would respond. He will need to grow up and grow up fast but my guess he will. I am sure some of the antics he pulls won’t fly in the SF locker room. Trade should work for both teams.

  9. I don’t know much about Johnson, but my memory recalls that he had some super important dropped “catch” a couple seasons ago in the endzone… I forget the significance of the game/opponent, but I remember the ball was square in his hands, and he just let go of it… I think he later blamed God or something for the drop.

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