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Bills extend Taron Johnson through 2027 season

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The Buffalo Bills signed nickel cornerback Taron Johnson to a three-year contract extension, the team announced Monday afternoon.

"They treat me like family and I love the guys I've played with, I love the guys they've brought here," Johnson said after signing the extension. "We've been right in it every single year so I just want to continue getting past that point and get to the Super Bowl."

Johnson is now the league's highest paid nickel back after earning his first spot on the second team AP All-Pro team after the 2023 season. The six-year veteran played the second-most snaps of any Bills defender last season, earning an 80.4 PFF grade and his 8.2 yards per route allowed was the fourth-best rate in the NFL, according to Player Profiler.

The nickel corner expressed his desire to take on a leadership role in the secondary as one of the longest tenured defensive players on the roster.

"It's a new opportunity for me. I have to be more vocal this year, I'm expecting to do that a lot," Johnson said. "Whatever that role means for me, that's what I'm going to do."

With the departure of cornerback Tre'Davious White, safety Jordan Poyer and other longtime members of the defense, Johnson said that taking advantage of organized team activities would be crucial in establishing chemistry among a new starting group.

"It's going to be tough," Johnson said. "It's going to take some time, but that's what OTAs is for. Get in with a new group of guys, fellowship with each other and just get to know each other better and that way it'll translate on the field."

Johnson will be a key figure on the Bills defense in Bobby Babich's first season as Buffalo's defensive coordinator. Johnson said he was excited to have the opportunity to work with the former linebackers coach.

"I'm excited," Johnson said. "Bobby knows football probably more than anybody that I've met, so we definitely have the right guy and I'm just happy to be working with him closer."

The 27-year-old expressed that he was focused on getting his body ready for the start of the season, which Johnson said begins in April for a team focused on getting over the hump in the playoffs.

"I've had conversations with (linebacker) Matt (Milano)," Johnson said. "Just basically making sure that we're doing everything we can to get our bodies healthy, get ready for basically OTAs coming up and then after that during the season."

Johnson faced off against some of the most dynamic receivers in the league in 2023, including Tyreek Hill, CeeDee Lamb and Davante Adams, consistently taking away a team's No. 1 receiver when lined up in the slot.

The product of Weber State University is also consistent in stopping the run, crashing down to set the edge against a rusher to force them to settle for a short gain rather than pop free on the outside.

Johnson, a former fourth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, started all 17 games for the Bills last season, tallying 98 total tackles, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and eight passes defensed.

"I could not have seen this far," Johnson said of the extension. "Even my first year in the league, I couldn't see this far. I just remember having a dream of just wanting to be in the league and I just feel like God has given me an abundance of so much more. So, I'm just so thankful for that and just want to continue to keep it going."