Buffalo Bills, Stevie Johnson Close To Deal, Per Adam Schefter

PITTSFORD, NY - AUGUST 08: Stevie Johnson #13 of the Buffalo Bills signs autographs during the Buffalo Bills Training Camp at St. John Fisher College on August 8, 2011 in Pittsford, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported late Sunday that the Buffalo Bills and wide receiver Stevie Johnson are "on the verge" of a five-year contract that would prevent Johnson from becoming an unrestricted free agent on March 13. Johnson addressed the report on Twitter, claiming no knowledge of an impending agreement.

Schefter reports that the Bills and Johnson's agent, C.J. LaBoy, spent most of Sunday in negotiations, and are close enough to a deal that it's expected to be finalized sometime today (Monday). That's good news, because today is the deadline for NFL teams to use their franchise tags; without a deal in place - which is still a possibility - Buffalo will be forced to decide whether or not to tag Johnson for one year at about $9.5 million.

This is not official, but if Schefter is right, the Bills will have locked down one of their brightest young stars for the foreseeable future by later this afternoon. Keep your fingers crossed, folks.

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