Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Johnson to have minor surgery

Bills receiver Stevie Johnson will wake up Monday in Philadelphia, where he's scheduled to have surgery on his groin.

Johnson tweeted that news himself tonight. His agent, C.J. Laboy, said in a text message to The News that it's "not a serious surgery" and has a "very brief" recovery time.

Johnson was nagged nearly all of last season by the injury, but battled through it to become the team's first-ever receiver to post back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. He did not miss a game.

Johnson finished with 76 catches for 1,004 yards and has 17 touchdown catches over the past two years.

The Bills rewarded him this offseason with a five-year, $36.25 million contract extension.

---Jay Skurski

Berry wonders -- again -- about hit from Johnson

Chiefs safety Eric Berry told the Associated Press today to "make your own opinion" about whether the hit he took from Bills receiver Stevie Johnson in the season opener last September was intentional.

"You can look at the tape and make your own opinion about that. I mean, my opinion is my opinion," he told the AP.

On March 5, Berry tweeted: “Sometimes I sit n wonder if they had a bounty out on me...oh well...who cares. Either way u can't hold me down.”

Berry told the AP his tweet was, "pretty much a joke." He suffered a torn ACL in his left knee on the hit, which Johnson delivered legally in the open field.

Johnson has repeatedly denied any intention to hurt Berry.

Johnson was unavailable for comment today: he and his wife, Brittney, welcomed the birth of their third child, Mia, on Monday. Johnson's agent, CJ Laboy, issued the following statement:

"Eric Berry is a phenomenal football player who will be a Pro Bowler for years to come, but knowing the Bills organization and Stevie as well as I do and hearing Stevie's very public statements concerning 'bounties'as well as his apologies for the legal downfield block made on Eric, there is no doubt that the hit was unintentional. It is unfortunate that Eric suffered an injury during that game and we all look forward to seeing him back on the field in 2012."

---Jay Skurski

Report: Manning had a fourth surgery

---A day after Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay made it clear that the decision whether to play for the team rests with Peyton Manning, pictured above, and his willingness to take a pay cut, Sports Illustrated reports new details about the quarterback’s physical condition. According to SI, Manning underwent four, not three, neck procedures over a 19-month span, has bone spurs just above the spot of fusion surgery in September, and may require further fusion.

---Here's John McClain's take on Mario Williams, who McClain says several teams may be in a position to offer the free agent defensive end $50 million as a signing bonus. Think Ralph Wilson would really like to hand over that kind of cash?

---Detroit is on the rise and Lions president Tom Lewand says his team will be smart with its money this off-season.

--- Sporting News ranks its top 50 draft prospects. Penn State DT Devon Still ranks No. 10.

---Retired NFL players are still hoping for improved benefits. Bills Hall of Fame guard Joe DeLamielleure told the AP that "I'm going to fight `em to the end."

---Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times reports preliminary contract talks between the Baltimore Ravens and quarterback Joe Flacco are expected to launch next week at the NFL scouting combine, according to Flacco's agent, Joe Linta.

---Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has been in Los Angeles working on his throwing mechanics with new UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone according to Peter Yoon of

---Rodney McKissic


Routt reportedly to visit Bills

The Buffalo Bills are giving the initial impression they're going to be players in this year's free agent market.

Buffalo is one of two teams who have reportedly already scheduled a meeting with ex-Raiders cornerback Stanford Routt, who was released by Oakland in the first surprise move of the NFL offseason Thursday. That report comes from ESPN's Josina Anderson, who quotes Routt's agent, William Vann McElroy, as saying "as of right now Buffalo has him flying in on Sunday for a Monday visit, but I will keep you posted."

Routt was released less than a year after signing a monster extension with the Raiders. Routt signed a three-year, $31.5 million contract last February that included $20 million in guarantees over the first two years. The team then restructed the deal in August by adding two years, making it a $54.5 million contract.

Those deals were orchestrated by late Raiders owner Al Davis, though, and it's clear new Oakland General Manager Reggie McKenzie didn't view Routt as a $10 million a year player.

Routt got the big contract after grading out as one of the league's top cover cornerbacks in 2010. The opposition's 39.4 percent completion rate when throwing at him was the lowest of any player targeted at least 60 times that season, according to STATS LLC. That made Oakland comfortable enough to allow Nnamdi Asomugha to leave as a free agent, making Routt its No. 1 cornerback.

He regressed in 2011, though, committing an NFL-high 17 penalties. He also allowed eight touchdown passes, second most in the league, according to STATS, although his completion rate of 47.4 was again strong.

Routt, 28, has played 110 games with 53 starts since being drafted in the second round by Oakland in 2005. Tennessee is the other team with a scheduled visit, although Routt will likely attract plenty more attention on the open market.

He joins a deep class of free agent cornerbacks that also includes the likes of Tennessee's Cortland Finnegan, Kansas City's Brandon Carr and San Francisco's Carlos Rogers, among others.

---Jay Skurski

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Bills release Corto (updated)

---The Bills have officially announced the release of safety Jon Corto.

The Orchard Park native spent last season on injured reserve and has been with the team since 2007.

He was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2007 and was on the active roster from 2008-10, primarily as a special teams contributor. The Bills had to release him once he passed his physical since he was on the waived/injured list last season. A source told The News that several teams have interest in Corto.

Corto spent the whole season recovering from his shoulder injury but he is healthy now.

"I am ready to play and I am excited about the opportunity to continue my career," Corto told The News. "Right now I am in Miami at Bomeritos Sports Performance facility working out very hard for my next opportunity."

NFL teams need big safeties in their nickel coverage. Hopefully Corto can find a niche there and get into a training camp.

---Rodney McKissic


Nelson: Fitzpatrick played with cracked ribs


---Bills wide receiver David Nelson finally confirms what has long been rumored: Quarterback Ryan Fizpatrick cracked a few ribs during the Washington Redskins game and played through the injury for the remainder of the season.

---Rodney McKissic


McKelvin tweets about shoulder surgery (update)

--- LMckelvin21 just tweeted that the surgery went good and he's going home.


---Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin had surgery today on his shoulder according to his Twitter page:

LMckelvin21 Bout to have surgery.

LMckelvin21 Shoulder.

McKelvin didn't indicate which shoulder or the extent of the injury. The veteran played in all 16 games this season and started six.

---Rodney McKissic


Bell: 'This is all I know'

---Free agent left tackle Demetrius Bell, pictured above, said on Monday that he would like to continue his career with the Buffalo Bills.

“This is home for me, this is all I know,’’ said Bell, who just completed his fourth season in Buffalo. “I would definitely love to be back here but it depends how everything will work out. … I’m just waiting on them to talk to me, no one has said anything to me so I really don’t know.’’

Bell missed Sunday’s season finale at New England with a torn meniscus and said he had surgery last Wednesday. The 6-foot-5, 311-pound Bell said he will be close to 100 percent recovered from the injury in the next 2-3 weeks.

If he proves to be healthy, it could be an interesting ride through free agency for Bell. A starting left tackle on the open market can generate between $6-7 million annually but the knock on Bell is his health. He’s played a full 16-game slate just once so he could fetch something closer to $4-5 million a year. Also, the Bills like rookie Chris Hairston who started seven games at left tackle.

The 2011 season was injury plagued to say the least for Bell. He started the first four games of the season before suffering a shoulder injury at Cincinnati which sidelined him for the next eight games.

He returned to the lineup at San Diego where he rotated at left tackle with Hairston. Bell started against Miami and Denver but was missed the season finale at New England with the knee injury.

“”Being a free agent is always a good thing,’’ Bell said. “You quickly learn who all loves you and how much they love you.’’

In the meantime, Bell is going to return to his offseason home in Louisiana and wait.

“I’m going to fish and hunt every day, enjoy my family and see how everything falls out,’’ he said.

---Rodney McKissic


Bills-Patriots injury report

---QB/WR Brad Smith today was officially ruled out for Sunday’s game at New England by Bills coach Chan Gailey. Gailey was holding out hope Smith would be available, but Smith has missed practice all week with a hamstring injury.

Left tackle Demetrius Bell (knee) and center Kraig Urbik (knee) are also out for Sunday’s game, while wide receiver Ruvell Martin (hamstring) and running back Johnny White (concussion) are probable.

---Rodney McKissic


Offensive line hole plugged with Jasper

The Bills added some depth to their offensive line today by promoting mammoth guard Michael Jasper to the 53-man roster from the practice squad.

Jasper takes the place of tight end Mike Caussin, who was put on injured reserve with a torn ACL.

The Bills like to dress seven offensive linemen on game days, and with the loss of left tackle Demetrius Bell and center Kraig Urbik last week, were down to just six healthy bodies.

Jasper adds one more, although he could count as two. At 6-foot-4, 383 pounds, the rookie out of Bethel College (Tenn.) is easily the biggest player on the team.

---Jay Skurski

« Older Entries