Big Baller Beane is clearly confident and prepared for tomorrow’s game vs the Chiefs because he had absolutely no trouble locking up cornerback Taron Johnson. A three-year, $24 million extension? Johnson deserves every last penny.
From Pass Catcher to Pass Defender
Initially a wide receiver and cornerback, Johnson made the switch to corner full-time after his Weber State coach, Jay Hill, encouraged him to do so. Hill was a teammate of former Bill Antoine Winfield Sr. and also coached stud defensive backs like Sean Smith and Eric Weddle, who went on to have lengthy NFL careers (thanks Zach Vaughn).
This switch paid off for Johnson, who earned an invite to the combine. He would make an immediate impression to all who were in attendance. Yes, I’m talking about that moment. This didn’t deter Beane, but to the fans of Buffalo, he didn’t do much to erase that image.
A Bull in Buffalo
His rookie and sophomore seasons were average at best, totalling two forced fumbles, two sacks, 92 total tackles, and eight passes defended.
But then, in 2020, he broke out. He tallied one sack, one forced fumble, 94 total tackles, and seven passes defended; more than his first two seasons combined. During the regular season, he had one INT: a 51-yard pick-six off Big Ben in week 14, allowing the Bills to head into the half. Everyone loves a guy who can come up clutch.
And if you need more proof, just look to the AFC divisional game. No longer do people associate Taron Johnson with his unfortunate combine moment. Now, when the words “Taron Johnson” are spoken, you immediately see his 101-yard pick-six versus the Ravens.
It’s clear though that Johnson wasn’t satisfied with his performance last year and looked to improve. So, in just three appearances this season he’s recorded one forced fumble, one sack, 15 total tackles and five passes defended. As Manny Deol rightly pointed out, he’s been a key member of this elite Bills defense.
Keeping this young star in Buffalo for the next few years is a huge win. And if his current performance is anything to go off, he’s due for a huge season and future.