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Taron Johnson earns playing-time bonus for next season

Taron Johnson earns playing-time bonus for next season

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Game changer

Buffalo Bills cornerback Taron Johnson (24) returns an interception for a 101-yard touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the third quarter of the AFC divisional round playoff game at Bills Stadium in Orchard Park, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021.

Buffalo Bills cornerback Taron Johnson will earn a raise in 2020 thanks to his extensive playing time the past three seasons.

Johnson qualifies for an NFL Proven Performance Escalator under the terms of the NFL collective bargaining agreement. He was due to make $920,000 in 2021, the last year of his four-year rookie contract.

Due to the fact that he played more than 35% of the snaps over the past three years – he actually has played 54% of the snaps – his pay for 2021 will go up to $2.13 million. The website Overthecap.com published the list of the fourth-year players who qualified for the pay raises.

Johnson was a fourth-round pick in 2018. He played 77% of the snaps in 2020 and made a couple of the biggest defensive plays of the season for the Bills. Those included his 51-yard interception return for a touchdown in Week 14 against Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger and the 101-yard interception return against Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson in the divisional-round playoff game. Johnson played 47% of the total defensive snaps in 2019 while playing 12 of 16 games. He saw 39.9% of the snaps in 2018 while playing 11 games.

The PPE bonuses were designed to reward players drafted outside the first round who exceed playing-time expectations.

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Bills/NFL writer

Mark Gaughan is in his 37th year at The Buffalo News. He is past president of the Pro Football Writers of America and served as a selector for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for 12 years.

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