Time for Teyo Johnson to Show Bills What He Can Do

RealFootball365.comSenior Writer IJanuary 31, 2008

The nicest thing to be said about Teyo Johnson might be that he's the best football player in his family—his brothers Ahmani and Riall have both bounced around the NFL and our goofy football neighbors in the CFL.

But even that might not be accurate, as Teyo has not played in America's league since 2005.

Based on his pro résumé, the newest Buffalo Bill has a chance to really surprise some people if he becomes a worthwhile contributor to the franchise.

Aside from the tidbit that he was born in British Columbia and the obvious fact that his parents are quite good at coming up with wildly imaginative names for their children, the basics remain that Johnson is a tight end who the Bills inked on Jan. 29.

The 26-year-old Stanford product, a senior for the Cardinal during Trent Edwards' redshirt season, didn't make an NFL team for long enough to play a game either in 2006 or the last campaign.

He got hurt and failed a physical with the Broncos last August, leading to them place him on injured reserve. He then reached an injury settlement with the team; no other squad picked him up after that. The previous year, he was released by Miami just before the regular season.

Johnson's biggest concern could be shaking off a dense coat of rust.

But there is the faint possibility that he could recapture some of his school form. Johnson had 79 catches as a college player, which makes his career NFL total of 26 over three seasons with the Raiders and Cardinals seem a little baffling. It's even more frustrating when you considers that he was a second-round pick by Oakland in 2003, meaning he hasn't precisely lived up to the potential he displayed at his university.

Realistically, it's doubtful that Johnson will even make this team, much less emerge as a crucial piece of the offensive attack. But of course he'll get the chance to make his impression on the coaching staff during the offseason. And, more importantly, the Bills are at least recognizing that they need to bring in competition for positions, both in general and specifically at tight end.

The only two genuine receiving threats from the end of last season, Robert Royal and latecomer Michael Gaines, combined for a less-than-terrifying 50 grabs, exactly 25 apiece. Bringing Johnson aboard to push the currently signed Royal and Derek Schouman along with any other player this team adds or keeps at the spot is a good sign.

Factor in that Johnson, listed at 6 feet, 6 inches and 245 pounds, has enough natural size that he could also conceivably absorb rushers or run stuffers as a blocker—this is a can't-hurt signing, one where kind-of general manager Russ Brandon and his staff at least somewhat recognized and addressed a need.

Giving Johnson a chance at one of the roster's thinner areas makes this a decent January addition.