There will be no touchdown celebration at Gillette Stadium by wide receiver Stevie Johnson this season. There will be no more lobbying on Twitter for North Korea to bomb Foxborough.
On Friday, the Buffalo Bills traded the charismatic pass-catcher out of the AFC East and sent him west to the San Francisco 49ers for a conditional pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Johnson is known as a jokester, and the joke has been on the New England Patriots more than once. He first made an impression with an innocent touchdown celebration, flashing a "Happy New Year!" message printed on his t-shirt underneath his jersey.
The next time he made headlines in New England, he tweeted the following:
War is nothing to be played with. I apologize North Korea........but if y'all do bomb 1st... Bomb Foxboro, Mass. Sincerely,#BillsMafia— HiMom. (@StevieJohnson13) April 3, 2013
He later said "some of y'all took [the tweet] too serious" and added that he has "much respect for The Pats along with Every other NFL Team."
None of that has anything to do with why the Patriots are probably excited to see him go. Johnson was one of few receivers who could consistently get open against then-New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis when the two squared off in previous years. The most notable contest was Week 12 in 2011, where Johnson caught eight passes for 75 yards on 11 targets, and added a touchdown.
Revis has held the advantage in their previous two encounters (Week 1, 2012; Week 14, 2013), in which Johnson had three receptions for 24 yards on nine targets with no touchdowns and one interception by Revis.
Johnson has also had a fair amount of success against the Patriots specifically. He racked up 23 receptions for 282 yards and three touchdowns over the past three years (five games) against the Patriots.
Johnson was a fan favorite in Buffalo, and became the first receiver in team history to post 1,000 receiving yards in consecutive seasons; he made it three in a row from 2010-2012. His production dropped off a cliff in 2013, though, finishing with 52 receptions for 597 yards and three touchdowns, all the lowest totals of his career since becoming a starter.
There were circumstances behind his struggles last year. He wasn't on the field for all 16 games; he missed two games with injury, and two more games after the death of his mother at the end of the season. When he was on the field, he dealt with a revolving door of quarterbacks: EJ Manuel (10), Jeff Tuel (1), and Thad Lewis (5) all started games for the Bills last season.
The Bills traded up to the fourth overall pick in the first round on Thursday to grab Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins, adding to a receiving corps that is already loaded with talent. Johnson was successful under the previous regime, but did not fit with what new Bills head coach Doug Marrone is implementing in his offense.
Johnson's immediate chances of reclaiming his previous form improve greatly in going from EJ Manuel to 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick ó and if nothing else, Stevie's rap career has a much better chance at survival in San Francisco than Buffalo.