The rumors regarding the chances of the Buffalo Bills trading Stevie Johnson this offseason aren’t new, and the NFL Network’s Albert Breer told us to watch for this before the draft started. If the Bills drafted a top-notch wide receiver with a top ten pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, then the expectation seemed to be for the Bills to look into dealing Johnson. The Bills were always big fans of Sammy Watkins, and Doug Whaley decided to make the aggressive move to trade up for the star receiver by moving up from the ninth to the fourth pick. If the Bills didn’t take Watkins, then they probably would have drafted Odell Beckham Jr. at nine, which would have still put Johnson in trade rumors (just not as strong as the trade rumors occurring now, as the Bills decided to pull Watkins, who is the top receiver in the class).
Per a league source close to WGR 550’s Joe Buscaglia, the Bills will likely place Johnson on the trading block after spending a first round pick on a wide receiver yesterday, and nobody should be surprised that this is the expectation.
While Johnson is a very good receiver despite coming off of an injury-plagued, down year in 2013, the Bills simply can’t afford to keep him around. He will make a significant amount of money in each of the next three seasons, and his cap hits will be at least $8.5 million for each of those seasons. Johnson is a great wideout who caught at least 75 passes for 1,000 yards from 2010 to 2012, but the Bills effectively stated their desire to replace him with the cheaper- and likely even better- Watkins. Plus, they drafted Robert Woods with a high pick last year and traded for Mike Williams this offseason.