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Report: WR Stevie Johnson to sign with Chargers, not Patriots 03.17.15 at 10:59 am ET
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After leaving New England on a visit Monday, wide receiver Stevie Johnson was reportedly deciding between signing with the Chargers or the Patriots. Tuesday morning, Johnson made his decision.

According to Dianna Marie Russini of NBC4 in Washington, Johnson will sign with the Chargers. She added it was a tough decision, but came down to his family.

The 28-year-old left the Bills after the 2013 season when he was traded by Buffalo to San Francisco. The 49ers released him last week. In seven seasons in the league, Johnson has 31 touchdown receptions and over 4,200 yards receiving. His best seasons came in a three-year stretch between 2010-12, when he caught at least 75 passes and had over 1,000 yards receiving in each season.

Johnson will likely have more of a prominent role in the offense in San Diego than he would in New England.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: NFL free agency 2015, Stevie Johnson,
Report: WR Stevie Johnson ‘very likely’ to sign with Patriots 03.16.15 at 2:00 pm ET
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Late last week it was reported free agent wide receiver Stevie Johnson would be visiting the Patriots on Monday.

Now it’s being reported a deal is “very likely” to happen.

According to Dianna Marie Russini of NBC 4 in Washington, it’s very likely Johnson signs with the Patriots, and adds the deal could happen today.

[UPDATE, 4:10 p.m.]: Russini added about two hours after her report of Johnson being “very likely” to sign with the Patriots, that he left New England without a contract on Monday.

The 28-year-old left the Bills after the 2013 season when he was traded by Buffalo to San Francisco. The 49ers released him last week.

In seven seasons in the league, Johnson has 31 touchdown receptions and over 4,200 yards receiving. His best seasons came in a three-year stretch between 2010-12, when he caught at least 75 passes and had over 1,000 yards receiving in each season.

Johnson would likely join fellow wide outs Aaron Dobson, Brian Tyms, Josh Boyce, Brandon Gibson and Kevin Dorsey completing for a spot on the final 53-man roster.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: NFL free agency 2015, Stevie Johnson,
Report: Stevie Johnson visiting Patriots at 11:37 am ET
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Could Stevie Johnson land in New England as a free agent? (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Could Stevie Johnson land in New England as a free agent? (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

The “targeting” of Stevie Johnson picks up in earnest this week.

Dianna Marie Russini of NBC4 IN Washington, who reported the Patriots were targeting the former Bills wide receiver, is reporting the wide receiver will be in Foxboro on Monday.

The 28-year-old Johnson left the Bills after the 2013 season when he was traded by Buffalo to San Francisco. This week, he was released by the 49ers after a disappointing season.

Before 2014, Johnson earned a reputation as one of the better route runners in the game. While with the Bills, Johnson caught four touchdown passes in nine games against the Patriots. The Patriots are looking for another perimeter passing threat to join Brandon LaFell, Julian Edelman and the recently restructured Danny Amendola.

In seven seasons, Johnson has 31 touchdown receptions and over 4,200 yards receiving. His best seasons came in a three-year stretch between 2010-12, when he caught at least 75 passes and had over 1,000 yards receiving in each season. Johnson would figure to immediately be ahead of Aaron Dobson, Brian Tyms, Josh Boyce, Brandon Gibson and Kevin Dorsey on the depth chart.

Read More: New England Patriots, NFL free agency 2015, Stevie Johnson,
Report: Patriots ‘targeting’ Stevie Johnson 03.13.15 at 8:06 pm ET
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Could Stevie Johnson land in New England as a free agent? (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Could Stevie Johnson land in New England as a free agent? (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

The Patriots apparently really like what they saw from the Bills passing game in the last couple of seasons.

Early on Friday, the Patriots reportedly signed Scott Chandler to add to depth to their tight end position. Later in the day, it was reported by Dianna Maria Russini of NBC4 in Washington, D.C. that the Patriots have their eyes on receiver Stevie Johnson and are ‘targeting’ the wideout.

The 28-year-old Johnson left the Bills after the 2013 season when he was traded by Buffalo to San Francisco. This week, he was released by the 49ers after a disappointing season.

Before 2014, Johnson earned a reputation as one of the better route runners in the game. While with the Bills, Johnson caught four touchdown passes in nine games against the Patriots. The Patriots are looking for another perimeter passing threat to join Brandon LaFell, Julian Edelman and the recently restructured Danny Amendola.

In seven seasons, Johnson has 31 touchdown receptions and over 4,200 yards receiving. His best seasons came in a three-year stretch between 2010-12, when he caught at least 75 passes and had over 1,000 yards receiving in each season. Johnson would figure to immediately be ahead of Aaron Dobson, Brian Tyms, Josh Boyce, Brandon Gibson and Kevin Dorsey on the depth chart.

Read More: Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, NFL free agency 2015, San Francisco 49ers
Around the AFC East: Dolphins, Bills pull off narrow victories 09.15.13 at 5:12 pm ET
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With the Patriots having Sunday off, it gave us a chance to check out what’s going on in the rest of the AFC East. Here’s a quick look at what happened in the rest of the division over the weekend:

Dolphins (2-0): Miami won a highly entertaining contest Sunday against the Colts and Andrew Luck, coming away with a 24-20 victory to stay unbeaten on the year. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill went 23-for-34 for 319 yards and one touchdown to give Indy its first home loss in 12 months. Miami, which is 2-0 for just the second time since 2004, saw Mike Wallace (nine catches, 115 yards) and Charles Clay (five catches, 109 yards) go over 100 yards receiving. The Dolphins needed the firepower, as Luck had the Colts in position to pull off another comeback win — he had the ball at the Miami 23-yard line with 1:45 left, but tossed three incompletes and was sacked on fourth down to finish things.

Next up: Sunday, Sept. 22 vs. Falcons

Jets (1-1): Like the Patriots, New York also had the weekend off, but managed to make its share of headlines with the decision to place quarterback Mark Sanchez on injured reserve with a designation to return. While coach Rex Ryan said he believed Sanchez could contribute later in the season, the move means that Sanchez will be on the shelf for the next eight weeks. (The earliest Sanchez could be back is Nov. 17 at Buffalo, following the Jets’ bye week.) That means that for the foreseeable future, the quarterback job belongs to rookie Geno Smith, who was a bit of a mixed bag in Thursday’s loss to the Patriots. The West Virginia product was 15-for-35 for 214 yards, and was sacked four times and intercepted three times.

Next up: Sunday, Sept. 22 vs. Bills

Bills (1-1): Buffalo got its first win of the season on Sunday with a dramatic 24-23 victory over the Panthers, thanks in large part to rookie quarterback EJ Manuel, who connected with wide receiver Stevie Johnson on a 2-yard touchdown pass with two seconds left to lift the Bills. Manuel engineered a game-winning drive late in the fourth, a nine-play, 80-yard series where he went 6-for-8 for 51 yards. (He ended the game 27-for-39 for 296 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.) Manuel got some help down the stretch when Carolina (and former Boston College) linebacker Luke Kuechly was penalized for pass interference on a third down play with less than a minute to go to help keep Buffalo alive.

Next up: Sunday, Sept. 22 at Jets

Read More: Andrew Luck, EJ Manuel, Geno Smith, Luke Kuechly
Aqib Talib responds to Stevie Johnson: ‘I don’t watch NFL Network’ 09.05.13 at 1:45 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Informed of Stevie Johnson‘s quote that he doesn’t feel like the Patriots have anyone who could stop him, Aqib Talib played it cool.

Asked if he had heard about Johnson’s boast, the New England cornerback responded by saying Thursday he hasn’t seen it.

‘€œI don’€™t watch NFL Network or read the newspaper during the season,’€ Talib said. ‘€œI’€™m a basketball fan. My TV pretty much stays on NBA TV. I don’€™t really read what nobody says.’€

Johnson said earlier in the week that he didn’t “think [the Patriots] have anybody to stop me.”

Talib was asked if a comment like that would get him fired up.

“Of course,” he said. “But I didn’t hear it so I didn’t really read into it. I guess it is what it is.

“He’s sharp in his routes. He’s really good on his releases,” Talib added of Johnson. “We just have to, you know, prepare for him.”

Johnson was actually pretty complimentary of Talib and the New England defense, even if he did get some of the names wrong. (He identified Patrick Chung as one of the Patriots’ defensive backs, even though Chung was signed as a free agent in the offseason by the Eagles.)

‘€œ[He’s] long, athletic, tries to play with vision,’€ Johnson said of Talib. ‘€œI have a lot of respect for [Patrick] Chung. [Devin] McCourty: he’€™s a Pro Bowl player.

‘€œI give a lot of credit to the Patriots. They play as one unit. ‘€¦ They’€™re aggressive. It’€™s going to be a test. It’€™s going to be a challenge,’€ Johnson added. ‘€œBut I still still think we can take advantage of their defense. ‘€¦ I’€™ll still ride with my boys over their guys.’€

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Aqib Talib, Stevie Johnson,
Bill Belichick on EJ Manuel: ‘We have to be ready for everybody’ 09.04.13 at 5:27 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Doug Marrone may have confirmed Wednesday that rookie quarterback EJ Manuel will get the start over Jeff Tuel for the Bills Sunday against the Patriots but that doesn’t mean Bill Belichick is taking anything for granted.

“We have to be ready for everybody,” Belichick said Wednesday during his press conference. “We all know that could change in one play so we have to be ready for all the guys on the active roster.”

What are Belichick’s impressions of the rookie out of Florida State?

“An athletic guy,” Belichick said of the signal-caller some draft experts had as the most talented quarterback out of college. “He hasn’€™t played a lot; he played against Indianapolis. Good arm, good athlete and a very productive player in college.”

Manuel was 26-of-33 for 199 yards and two touchdowns in two preseason games.

Belichick dismissed the advantage his defense has going up against a first-year quarterback.

“We’€™re playing against some individual players but we’€™re playing against an entire team too and their scheme and what they do,” Belichick said. “We have to have an awareness of the players that are in there but we have to defend the scheme that they run against us and we have to carry out our responsibilities. It’€™s kind of a combination of those things. We’€™ll be aware of the skills that Manuel has, that Tuel has, that Spiller has, that [Fred] Jackson has, that [Tashard] Choice has, whoever they are in there, we’€™re going to have to be ready for all of them. We still have to play our defense and maybe we have a little bit better awareness specifically of one player over another and we should. We still have to play our defense, still have to play football.

And then there’s Stevie Johnson, the wideout who said this week that New England doesn’t have anyone who can cover him, including Patrick Chung, now of the Philadelphia Eagles. Does that make Belichick laugh?

“We can’€™t really worry about what they’€™re doing,” Belichick said. “We’€™re just trying to get ready to go. We’€™ll try to be ready on Sunday. That’€™s what we’€™re going to do.”

As for what Johnson brings to the Bills’ offense?

“He’€™s an explosive player,” Belichick said, staying on the high road. “He’€™s got great quickness, catching skills, good route runner. He’€™s a hard guy to cover.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Buffalo Bills, C.J. Spiller, EJ Manuel
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