for the purpose of this hypothetical im going to start by knocking out a mock of the top 9 picks in the draft, one that involves the Bills selecting a wide receiver, thus making Stevie Johnson and his somewhat large salary expendable. plus i want my prediction out in the open incase i turn out to be right
1 Houston selects Blake Bortles
2 Cleveland selects Johnny Manziel after trading up with St Louis
3 Jacksonville selects Jadeveon Clowney
4 Minnesota selects Derek Carr after trading up with St Louis, yeah that's right i've got the rams trading down twice, hey stranger things have happened, they could rake in a bounty of extra picks and still get a top prospect
5 Oakland selects Sammy Watkins
6 Atlanta selects Greg Robinson
7 Tampa Bay selects Khalil Mack, they still need pass rush even after signing Michael Johnson
8 St Louis selects Jake Matthews, re-signing Saffold wont cure what ails them
9 Buffalo selects Mike Evans, a big strong wider receiver with a large catch radius who is also pretty agile could be a Quarterbacks best friend
so the Bills end up with Mike Evans, now what do they do with Stevie Johnson? sure he'd make a decent mentor for our young group of Receivers and he could probably rack up some decent stats in the slot, but really at his salary you want him to be the man or at least a top flight number 2 guy and those are the roles which we'd be trying to develop Robert Woods and Mike Evans at. And just releasing Johnson would seem pointless because the dead money that would count against us would negate any cap savings made by clearing his salary.
I'm not entirely sure what is possible in NFL trades but if both teams and both players agreed to it i think a straight up swap of the contracts of Stevie Johnson and Charles Godfrey of the Carolina Panthers could be a very mutually beneficial arrangement for both teams. if it is possible to swap contracts including guarantees without both teams being saddled with dead money then i think this should be done. As most people are aware of the Panthers have a crying need at wide receiver right now and the addition of Johnson would be a huge upgrade on anybody they currently have. Also as most people are aware of the Bills have something of a need at safety after the departure of Jairus Byrd, with either the inexperienced Duke Williams or Jonathan Meeks being our next man up.
Stevie Johnson had a heck of a down year last season due in large part to the Bills having one of the worst Quarterback situations you could end up with and Godfrey missed most of the season after suffering an Achilles injury. The Bills brass are saying they like Meeks and Williams and i'm not against the idea of giving those guys a shot to step up, but if they decide they could use a talented veteran presence back there at safety and if Godfrey looks good a year removed from his injury then they could do a lot worse, he was considered the best player by far on an admittedly weak panthers secondary before getting hurt. Robert Lester an undrafted rookie did a good job for the Panthers last season in Godfrey's absence, notching 3 interceptions and allowing opposing Quarterbacks a rating of only 49.6 when throwing against him so it's also very possible that Carolina could decide Godfrey and his somewhat large contract to be expendable with Lester's emergence.
here's a link to details of both players contracts, notice they are somewhat similar with both guys signed through 2016. so lemme know what you think fellow rumblers, unless you disagree in which case don't ever talk to me ;)