Taron Johnson

Bills Extend CB Taron Johnson

Buffalo has seen a few notable departures this offseason, but Taron Johnson will remain in place for years to come. The veteran corner has agreed to a three-year Bills extension, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. The move is now official, per a team announcement.

Schefter adds this agreement is worth $31MM, making Johnson the league’s highest-paid slot corner. That spot has seen a number of key developments recently, with the Colts and Packers respectively re-upping Kenny Moore and Keisean Nixon last week. Johnson will join that pair in securing a raise ahead of the 2024 campaign.

One year remained on the latter’s contract, and he was owed $7.7MM in 2024; $500K of that amount was due today. Johnson’s cap hit was slated to sit at $12.41MM this season, a figure which could be reduced with this through-2027 deal. In any case, the Bills’ secondary will retain a crucial component for the short- and long-term future.

Johnson took on an increasingly large role over his first three seasons in Buffalo. Having established himself as a starter by 2021, the 27-year-old inked a three-year, $24MM extension. He has been durable and productive over the life of that pact, setting himself up for another agreement. Johnson earned second-team All-Pro honors in 2023, and he will be counted on to maintain that level of play moving forward. In his career, the former fourth-rounder has amassed four interceptions, seven forced fumbles, 450 tackles and seven sacks.

The $10.3MM AAV of this deal will leave Johnson well short of the overall lead in terms of cornerback compensation. Still, it slightly outpaces Moore’s newest Colts agreement in terms of value and ensures he will remain a staple of Buffalo’s secondary. That unit has seen Tre’Davious White and safety Jordan Poyer released in cost-cutting moves. Corner Dane Jackson has also departed in free agency, so replacing that trio will be a priority for the remainder of free agency and the draft for Buffalo.

The Bills have lost a number of high-profile players recently due in large part to the team’s cap situation entering the new league year. However, others have been retained or signed to new deals to avoid a trip to free agency in 2025. That includes left tackle Dion Dawkins securing a big-money extension last week. Johnson will now join Dawkins as an integral part of Buffalo’s transitioning roster for years to come.

Restructured Contracts: Garoppolo, Bills, Wilson, Reed

Jimmy Garoppolo continues to help the Raiders carve out cap space. After reworking his deal earlier this offseason, the quarterback has once again restructured his deal, per ESPN’s Field Yates (via Twitter).

The move will create $17MM in cap space for the organization, making them cap compliant. As Vince Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal notes, the team previously converted an $11.25MM signing bonus into base salary, increasing Garoppolo‘s salary from $11.25MM to $22.5MM in the process. Bonsignore assumes the front office did some work today to reduce that newfound 2023 number.

Shortly after Garoppolo signed a three-year, $72.75MM deal, he underwent surgery to repair the fractured foot he sustained in early December. The Raiders’ first restructuring helped protect the organization in case the QB’s foot injury lingers into the regular season.

More financial notes from around the NFL…

  • The Bills opened a chunk of cap space today. The team opened $4.5MM in cap space by restructuring the contracts of guard Ryan Bates and cornerback Taron Johnson, per Yates. Bates turned into a full-time starter for the Bills in 2022, while Johnson has started 41 games for Buffalo over the past three seasons.
  • Cedrick Wilson Jr. reworked his contract with the Dolphins prior to cutdown day, per Jonathan Jones of NFL on CBS. The veteran wideout lowered his base salary to $2MM while receiving a $3MM signing bonus, equaling his $5MM in guarantees from last season. With incentives, Wilson can earn up to $7.25MM on his reworked contract.
  • The Vikings recently reworked the contract of guard Chris Reed, according to ESPN’s Ben Goessling. The offensive lineman’s base salary is now fully guaranteed at $1.165MM, an increase from the $1.4MM ($600K guaranteed) pact he was previously attached to. This was the second time this offseason that Reed agreed to a reworked contract.
  • Browns left tackle Jedrick Wills restructured his deal recently, converting $2.28MM of his base salary into a signing bonus, per Yates. The new deal also has three new void years, opening around $1.8MM in cap space.
  • The Cowboys restructured Neville Gallimore‘s contract, according to ESPN’s Todd Archer. The defensive tackle’s salary was reduced from $2.7MM to $1.5MM, and he can now earn $750K via incentives.

Bills Extend CB Taron Johnson 

The Bills have agreed to a three-year extension with Taron Johnson, per a club announcement. The deal could be worth as much as $24MM, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter) with a healthy $14MM guaranteed. 

Johnson was previously on track for free agency in the spring, but the Bills didn’t want to let him get away. The 2018 fourth-rounder has become a key part of Buffalo’s D in recent years. In 2020, he notched 94 stops, seven passes defensed, five tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble, and an interception taken back for a touchdown. Then, in the playoffs, he notched another pick six — a 101-yarder — against the Ravens.

Love that dude,” teammate Micah Hyde said recently (via the team website). “Man, he just does everything for our defense. You’ve got to have a nickel that’s a dog, and that’s him. He’s been showing it the last couple years. Just a great kid, a great guy, who has come a long ways. His growth mentally, on the football field, and even off, just becoming a man. It’s so cool to see a young guy like that coming along. He’s been making a lot of plays in this league for a long time.”

Johnson, 25, has already recorded five passes defensed, one FF, and one sack in three games this year. Now furnished with a new deal, he’ll turn his attention to the Chiefs on Sunday.