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NFL Free Agency: Stevie Johnson signs five-year deal to stay with Buffalo Bills

The Browns search for a free agent wide receiver is suffering greatly in the lead-up to free agency. DeSean Jackson was franchised last week and according to Adam Schefter and ProFootballTalk Bills receiver Stevie Johnson won’t be available either signing for five years and $36.25 million.

Per Schefter, the contract guarantees Johnson $19.5 million and calls for Johnson to receive $24 million over the first three years of the deal. There’s no detail as to the nature of those guarantees, i.e. whether they are fully or partially guaranteed and how much is to come via a signing bonus. Johnson’s deal could look different once that information comes to light.

Johnson would have been a more likely target for the Cleveland Browns than some of his older counterparts had he reached free agency. Johnson is still somewhat unproven, but at 25 he has put up over 1000 yards in consecutive seasons with the Bills. The Browns have seemed to make maximum effort to sign players in their early to mid-twenties in free agency more than the older guys.

Vincent Jackson (29), Pierre Garcon (25), and Mario Manningham (25), among others become more and more likely options for the Browns as the deadline approaches without word of signings or taggings.

[Related:  NFL Free Agents: The Wide Receivers]

  • MrCleaveland

    I’d say the Browns’ search for a FA WR did not suffer at all. Johnson and D. Jackson are diva head cases who are interested only in Johnson and D. Jackson, respectively. These are not the kind of people you want around.

    Besides, we’ve already got our egomaniac WR spot filled. 

  • mgbode

    Garcon would be my target if I thought there was any chance that Indy would let him go.  I think he will re-sign shortly with them.

    Colston is a possibility now that Brees has the franchise tag (and they will have to pursue Nicks as their 1st priority).   Meachem still probably more likely from that camp.

    Vincent Jackson is intriguing, but his off-field issues and injury concerns may temper that enthusiasm towards him.

    Don’t sleep on Harry Douglass.  Probably the best of the “under the radar” FA WRs right now.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Plenty of WRs still out there all which would help the Browns.  Douglass and Doucet are two of the lesser known guys I’d be interested in as well.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Not sure about Douglass, but do like Doucet as a cheap WR option.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Agreed. My friend and I were discussing last night, and I really think that the more big names that get snatched up now, the better it is for the Browns – the demand is decreasing in a year where there are simply a ton of good FA WRs on the market. Let the top guys go (particularly the headcases) to someone else, and there is less competition for the Browns to get Garcon or the like.