Photo: Mark Cromwell, Flickr Creative Commons
The Buffalo Bills finally lost a game this weekend, but are still 3-1 and in a good position to make the playoffs for the first time since 1999. But with some big names possibly headed towards free agency this off-season, there may be some added pressure to win now.Two of the Bills’ best players, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, and wide receiver Stevie Johnson, are free agents at the end of the season and it doesn’t look like either player is close to signing an extension.
According to one report, the Bill are currently focused on working out a new deal with Fitzpatrick. If the Bills can’t work out a deal, they could be forced to use the franchise tag on Fitzpatrick. But if that happens, they will be paying Fitzpatrick like he is an elite quarterback, and while he is a good story (his real last name may actually be “Fitzpatrick, who went to Harvard”), few would argue that he is one of the best five quarterbacks in the NFL.
The Bills are in an even tougher spot with Johnson, with whom talks broke down prior to the season. If the Bills are forced to use their franchise tag on Fitzpatrick, it might increase the likelihood of Johnson walking after the season.
According to ESPN’s new Quarterback Rating statistic (QBR), Fitzpatrick has been the fifth best at his position so far this season with a QBR of 74.7. Johnson has 24 catches for 314 yards and three touchdowns.
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