2012 NFL Free Agents: Washington Redskins Should Make a Move for Stevie Johnson

James DudkoFeatured ColumnistDecember 31, 2011

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 20:  Receiver Stevie Johnson #13 of the Buffalo Bills makes a catch in front of Cornerback Vontae Davis #21 of the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on November 20, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

On Thursday, NFL.com reported that Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson is confident of remaining with the AFC East outfit for 2012.

But the Washington Redskins should give the pending free agent something else to think about. The 25-year-old pass-catcher has proved himself to be one of the most dynamic young wideouts in the game.

Johnson has broken the 2,000-yard mark in receiving in the past two seasons combined and is clearly a player on the rise. He has the kind of playmaking skills that would make him the focal point of the Redskins pass offense.

The 6'2", 210-pounder possesses the kind of physical intangibles Mike Shanahan likes in a receiver. He is also an intelligent route runner with a knack for getting open.

Drops have blighted Johnson's game at times. These struggles have hurt the Bills at critical moments in more than one game during the last two seasons.

He has also courted controversy thanks to his elaborate and flamboyant end zone celebrations. But at 25, Johnson is young enough to eradicate such bad habits from his game.

Johnson's costly drops and the backlash to some of his on the field antics could make the Bills shy away from offering him premium terms. This would open the door for Bruce Allen to tempt Johnson to D.C.

The Redskins desperately need a legitimate big-play weapon at wide receiver. Given the number of pass plays Kyle Shanahan likes to call, his offense must have a clear, No. 1 flanker to target.

Johnson has the skill set to be that player. He is a younger alternative to the likes of Vincent Jackson and would benefit from the influence of veterans Santana Moss and Jabar Gaffney.

If the Redskins do opt to select a quarterback with their first pick in the draft, giving him a target like Johnson to throw to, would only make the rookie's job easier.

Pairing a more accurate passer with a weapon as prolific as Johnson, could see the Redskins offense light up some scoreboards in 2012.