11:02am: Johnson’s three-year contract has a base value of $10.5MM and includes additional performance-based incentives, tweets Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), the deal can be worth up to $12MM.
9:55am: After taking the night to weigh his options, Stevie Johnson has decided to sign with the Chargers rather than the Patriots, sources tell Dianna Marie Russini of NBC4 Washington (Twitter link). Johnson has reportedly narrowed his choice down to those two teams after visiting San Diego and New England, and Russini tweets that his family played a big part in his decision. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter), it’ll be a three-year deal for Johnson with the Chargers.
Johnson, 28, spent the first six seasons of his NFL career with the Bills before being sent to San Francisco a year ago in a trade. While the Kentucky product didn’t make a real impact for the 49ers, he enjoyed some success in Buffalo, putting up three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons from 2010 to 2012, and grabbing 23 touchdowns during that three-year stretch.
Having been released by the Niners earlier this month, Johnson will return to the AFC for the 2015 season, joining forces with Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen in San Diego. The Chargers, who lost Eddie Royal to the Bears in free agency last week, had been on the lookout for veteran receiving help to complement Allen. The team also added Jacoby Jones, though it’s not clear how significant a role the return specialist will play on offense.