Football

NFL notes: Ex-Cat Johnson might be an ex-Bill

Stevie Johnson (13), Buffalo's leading receiver, said the team rejected his latest contract offer. He is eligible for free agency after the season.
Stevie Johnson (13), Buffalo's leading receiver, said the team rejected his latest contract offer. He is eligible for free agency after the season. AP

Stevie Johnson could be down to playing his final games with the Buffalo Bills after contract talks broke off a few weeks ago.

Though the team's top receiver — and most colorful player — would prefer re-signing with the Bills, Johnson is now left pondering the future after the team rejected his last offer.

Johnson, a former Kentucky star, is eligible to become a free agent this off-season.

"We tried to do our negotiating and it was turned down," Johnson said Wednesday. "I want to just ride it out and see what happens."

He wouldn't divulge what his asking price was, but told The Associated Press that it averaged out to less than $9 million a season — putting him in the mid-range of the league's No. 1 receivers.

Johnson leads Buffalo (5-8) with 63 catches and 790 yards, and is tied for the team lead with six touchdowns.

TV deals renewed

CBS, Fox and NBC renewed their contracts for nine years through the 2022 season, the NFL announced Wednesday. The average fees from the three networks will increase by an average of 7 percent annually, a person familiar with the details said. That will take the total revenue from them from the current $1.93 billion per year to $3.1 billion by 2022.

Around the league

Browns: President Mike Holmgren said Pat Shurmur will "absolutely" return as coach next season. Shurmur has been criticized for the team's mishandling of Colt McCoy's concussion last week.

Texans: Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will have surgery to resolve a kidney condition and will be away from the team for a week to 10 days. The 64-year-old Phillips said it is not life-threatening.

Chiefs: Interim coach Romeo Crennel made a quarterback change, replacing the ineffective Tyler Palko with veteran Kyle Orton.

Colts: Peyton Manning has started throwing the football again. Coach Jim Caldwell said Manning is throwing the ball as part of his rehabilitation from neck surgery Sept. 8. There's no indication that Manning will practice with his teammates before the season ends Jan. 1, much less play in a game, but the news was a positive step in Manning's recovery.

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