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Johnson has had his share of success against the Patriots in the past
The Patriots have already signed one receiver (Kevin Dorsey) this offseason, and restructured Danny Amendola's deal to keep him around for another season. However, that hasn't quelled their interest in adding to the depth chart, as they have free agent Stevie Johnson in for a visit today. The free agent receiver previously visited with Chargers, and is rumored to be a target for the Browns as well.

A seven year veteran, Johnson entered the league as a 2008 seventh round pick of the Bills. He hit a statistical peak from 2010-2012, averaging 79 catches, 1,041 yards and over 7 touchdowns a year during that three season span. After suffering a statistical regression in 2013 (with neither injuries nor rookie QB EJ Manuel helping his cause), Johnson signed with San Francisco last offseason, where he struggled to get consistent targets behind Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin.

At 6'2" and 210 pounds, the 28 year old Johnson has good size on the outside, but his best attribute is his nifty route running, which allows him to create separation even against tight man coverage. His ability to gain separation quickly and create yards after the catch should make him a fit in the Patriots offense, which puts a premium on precise route running. While he lacks elite deep speed, Johnson also brings more of a downfield threat than the Pats have recently gotten from their receivers, as his career 12.7 yards per reception indicates. 

Johnson is best known for being one of the few receivers to consistently play well against Darrelle Revis, whom he faced twice a year with the Bills. Johnson earned that reputation after the 2011 season, which saw him beat Revis for 3 catches and 84 yards in one contest (including a 52 yarder) and 8 catches for 75 yards and a touchdown in the other. Given that Revis is accustomed to shutting down the leagues top receivers, Johnson's play against him was eye-opening.

Of course, Johnson is also no stranger to controversy in his career, with the Patriots often involved. Johnson was fined in 2010 for mimicking firing a rifle after scoring a fourth quarter touchdown against the Pats in Gillette Stadium. He also once infamously tweeted that North Korea should target Foxborough first if they decide to bomb the United States.

Should the Pats make a play for Johnson? Feel free to chime in on social media or in the comments below

Ned Brady 3/16/2015 01:11:00 PM Edit
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