The Buffalo Bills traded up to select arguably the draft’s most coveted wide receiver in Sammy Watkins. Now one veteran may be on his way out of town.
According to WGR 550 in Buffalo, the Bills are going to “do what they can” to try and deal Stevie Johnson.
With the addition of Watkins, the Bills’ depth at wide receiver now goes wide deep, but only four players — including Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin and Mike Williams, who was acquired via trade — were hand-picked by the current general manager and coaching staff.
Johnson is due more than $5 million with a cap hit that amounts to $8.5 million in 2014, and even more in 2015 and 2016. That, in tandem with the suggested qualms with head coach Doug Marrone, makes Johnson all the more expendable.
Per the report:
The logic is very simple behind it: the Bills now have five receivers on their roster that demand playing time on offense. Four of those players were brought in by the current general manager and coaching staff, and only one has an astronomical cap hit for 2014 comparatively speaking. Johnson is signed for the next three seasons with cap hits of $8.5 million (2014), $8.85 million (2015) and $8.95 million (2016). Combine that with the clashing personalities of Johnson and head coach Doug Marrone, and it all adds up to the Bills doing what they can to try and move Johnson.
A trade centered around Johnson may be difficult to come by given the wide receiver’s large cap hit. Contending teams may be financially strapped and would have difficulty absorbing Johnson’s deal. Johnson would have to be willing to restructure his deal to transfer most of his base salary into a signing bonus to facilitate a trade, according to the report.
Johnson’s value on the open market may be as much as a fourth- or fifth-round pick, per WGR 550, and as low as a high six-rounder.