Stevie Johnson didn’t think he would be playing with the Buffalo Bills after the 2011 season.
While speaking with Yahoo! Sports, the wide receiver said he believed his time with the team was over after being held out of the season finale for an excessive-celebration penalty.
"At that point, I was thinking I was done with Buffalo," Johnson told Yahoo! Sports."I was like, 'They benched me? Really?'”
Johnson said he thought he could catch on with the San Francisco 49ers, his hometown team. However, the Buffalo Bills had no intentions of letting go of their star wide receiver.
“The (Bills) stepped up and paid me,” Johnson said. “And it felt so good to be wanted."
The team signed Johnson to a five-year, $36.25 million contract this past spring. While he had offseason groin surgery, Johnson was able to participate in training camp and the team’s first preseason game against the Washington Redskins.
Johnson said he is eager to prove the Buffalo Bills made the right decision by locking him up long-term.
"I want to do right by them," he said. "I want to prove I can celebrate without getting penalties. I work hard to get in the end zone. My attitude is, 'Why can't I have some fun when I get in there?' But I have to do it in a way that doesn't hurt the team."
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