The Buffalo Bills have one of the most-improved defenses in the NFL this season. Cornerback Taron Johnson has been at the forefront of the resurgence, and the Bills were willing to make sure he remained a key piece of the unit for years to come.
Johnson agreed to a three-year extension with the Bills on Saturday, keeping the slot cornerback in the fold until the 2024 season. Johnson is having a career year with the Bills with 15 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in three games played. Opposing quarterbacks targeting Johnson have just a 57.8 passer rating and are completing only 43.8% of their passes. Johnson has the ninth-lowest pass rating allowed among players who have more than 100 coverage snaps this season, per Pro Football Focus.
"He's developed into a really, really good player, one of the best slot corners in the National Football League," Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said, via the Bills website. "So we are very fortunate to watch his development and see his maturation over this period."
A 2018 fourth-round pick of the Bills, Johnson had trouble staying on the field due to injuries but has been the starting slot cornerback for Buffalo in each of the last three seasons. The Bills have the top-ranked pass defense through four games in 2021, allowing just 148.8 pass yards per game. Buffalo has also allowed just three passing touchdowns and recorded seven interceptions, both of which rank second in the NFL.
Already having Tre'Davious White signed to a long-term deal, the Bills wanted to make sure they took care of Johnson next.
"He just does everything for our defense," Bills safety Micah Hyde said. "You've got to have a nickel that's a dog, and that's him. He's been showing it the last couple years. Just a great kid, a great guy, who has come a long ways. His growth mentally, on the football field, and even off, just becoming a man.
"It's so cool to see a young guy like that coming along. He's been making a lot of plays in this league for a long time."
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