Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick hopes to have unrestricted free agent wide receiver Steve Johnson back in the huddle in 2012, Mark Gaughan of The Buffalo News reports.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen and obviously I’m not a decision maker,” said Fitzpatrick. “I’m not going to be involved in that process. I know that they know I want him back. He knows I want him back. He wants to be here. We’ll see how it turns out. But I’m a better player with Stevie on my team. I feel he’s a better player with me as his quarterback.”
After catching just 12 passes his first two seasons in the league, Johnson has 158 receptions for 2,077 yards and 17 touchdowns as a full-time starter the last two seasons. However, that is overshadowed by key dropped passes and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties that have cost the team yardage and cost him the final two-plus quarters of Sunday’s regular season finale against the Patriots.
Johnson earned $1.2 million in 2011. The franchise tag for wide receivers is projected to be worth between $9.4 and $9.8 million in 2012.