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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Lots for little

   July 14, 1998 -- This is a paricularly difficult day in Buffalo Bills' history, especially if you are Ralph Wilson.

   The Bills signed quarterback Rob Johnson to a new, record-setting contract.

   Johnson had been acquired in February that year from Jacksonville in exchange for two draft choices. He agreed to a five-year deal worth $25 million, including an $8 million signing bonus. It took several months to work out the particulars.

   "The framework was set back at the league meetings in Orlando," said Johnson's agent, Leigh Steinberg said. "Given that we couldn't sign it immediately, it made sense that we take our time."

   At the time, the Bills had high hopes that Johnson would be the team's quarterback of the future and the successor to Jim Kelly. It's fair to say that concept didn't work out. Johnson started 26 games in four years with the Bills, compiling a 9-17 record. From there it was on to backup work with Tampa Bay, Washington and Oakland.

   And it's also fair to say that Wilson didn't exactly get his money's worth.

 --- Budd Bailey


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.