Kevin Johnson trade rumors will not be a yearly event for Browns fans.
Today, Kevin Johnson signed a four-year deal worth $13.85 with the Cleveland Browns, just three days after the team gave his agent, Tom Condon, permission to seek a trade. The signing bonus, a key stumbling block on the way to a deal, is reportedly worth $3.5 million.
Johnson has been Tim Couch's favorite target since being drafted out of Syracuse in the second-round of the 1999 NFL draft. Despite a relatively week 2000 season as a target for such luminaries as Doug Pedersen and Spurgeon Wynn, Johnson has been by-far the most reliable offensive force for the expansion-era Browns. Last year, Johnson recorded 84 catches for over 1000 yards.
As Johnson emerged as the Browns only feared offensive weapon, QB Tim Couch has shown a tendency to be, in the opinion of some, overly reliant on his key target. The idea of Johnson leaving the team was a genuine concern to the Browns quarterback, as well as to fans of the team. This season, the teams' playcalling has emphasized Couch utlizing other targets, such as Quincy Morgan and rookie Andre Davis. Still, no other reciever appeared ready to take over Johnson's role as the #1 reciever, meaning that reaching agreement was critical to the team's playoff hopes in 2002.