Ryan Fitzpatrick said he was "ecstatic" to hear that Stevie Johnson had signed a new five-year contract with the Bills. In fact, the Bills' quarterback went to extraordinary lengths to make sure his favorite receiver remained in Buffalo. Fitz actually shaved his head in a show of support.
Reached by phone at his home in Arizona this morning, Fitzpatrick confirmed that he had shaved his head into a Mohawk and added a message on the side of his head.
"I just sent him a picture," Fitz said just after the Bills officially announced Stevie's new deal. "I'm sure you'll see it on-line. Basically, I said, 'Stevie, I don't want to have to beg.' He said, 'Fitz, all you got to do is shave a design on the left side of your head and grow a Mohawk mullet, I shaved my hair into a Mohawk this morning.
"It's hard to see because my hair wasn't that long," Fitz said. "The worst thing was I had to cut in a design on my head. I put 'He's back' and some weird design. Actually, my wife Liza did it. You know Stevie, he's got such a flair for the dramatic."
Of course, it's Johnson's ability as a receiver that matters most to Fitzpatrick. They've developed a strong relationship during the past two seasons and become one of the top QB-receiver combos in the NFL. Fitzpatrick said it was vital for the Bills' offense to maintain that continuity.
"This is huge for us as a team moving forward," Fitz said. "Stevie is a guy who over the last two years has proven that he can become an elite receiver in this league, and he has the will and the drive to do it. He certainly has the talent, I think he and I have a unique relationship on and off the field.
"I have a great understanding of what he wants to do and what he's good at, and he has a great understanding of my strenghts and how to communicate with me. It's going to be great for us to get a chance to work together for years to come. I couldn't be happier for Stevie. He's worked so hard to get to where he is. It's a great day for the Bills as well."