By Joshua Bauer:
Just a few months after signing Ryan Fitzpatrick to be the QB of the Bills through 2017, Buffalo announced Monday that his talented (and sometimes troubled) favorite target will now be there for the next five years. The Bills signed Johnson to a deal worth $36.25 million through 2016, with $19 million guaranteed, and have effectively thrown down the gauntlet in the AFC East, announcing to Miami, New York, and New England (as well as the NFL as a whole) that Buffalo will now be looking to contend once more.
The chemistry between Fitzpatrick and Johnson was undeniable the past two years, as the tandem has developed to the tune of over 2000 yards receiving and 17 TDs in that span. Though neither has played perfect football (Fitz takes too many chances, Johnson occasionally gets the dropsies late in games), Bills fans can’t deny the connection the two have established. Look no further than Twitter if you need proof, as Fitzpatrick delivered on his deal with Johnson to give himself a “mohawk mullet” should the receiver resign with Buffalo. If you had any worries about the chemistry or closeness these two potential stars are developing, look not further than this pic of a Harvard man with “He’s Back” shaved into his skull.
Need more proof? How about Johnson’s re-tweet of the picture, posting that “13 isn’t anything w/out 14”? That’s the Steve Johnson people in Buffalo love, not the one shooting himself in the leg or blaming God for a dropped TD, but the one who shows true commitment to his team. For all his grandstanding, Johnson has not only stated, but showed he has an affection for the Bills and seems to have a real hunger to win here. Now, the only receiver in Buffalo’s storied history to grab back-to-back 1000 yard seasons has a chance to help build something great in the Queen City, to bring back the glory that has been so lacking in the almost two decades since the days of Kelly, Reed, and Thomas. As the Bills now turn their attention to stud running back Fred Jackson (the last big piece of the offensive puzzle for 2012), you start to wonder if there might be another Big 3 looming on the horizon, waiting to lead Buffalo back to the postseason.
Either way, it’s good to see GM Buddy Nix and the normally Scroogey Bills moneymen doling out the paychecks necessary to help this phoenix rise from the ashes to compete in the NFL once more. Too many false hopes and half-seasons have been paraded before the Buffalo faithful over the years, it’s time to see if this franchise is really worth the years of unrewarded dedication. It’s time to be excited about the season again, time to talk playoffs once more (without being ironic), and, perhaps, time to start exorcising the demons of 4 straight Super Bowls, Wide Right, and the Music City Miracle.
We’ve waited patiently for long enough, time to get back in the fray and bring some success back to Western New York… pretty please…
Let’s Go Buffalo.