Stevie Johnson turns down New England Patriots to sign with Chargers

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Former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver has opted for the San Diego Chargers as he starts the next phase of his NFL career, turning down a chance to play for the New England Patriots in the process.

Decision made

Indeed the belief earlier this week was that Johnson was "very likely" to agree a deal with the reigning Super Bowl champions. Clearly though the 28-year-old has decided to stay instead in the California region.

NBC4 anchor Dianna Marie Russini broke the news early on Tuesday morning, revealing just why Stevie Johnson ultimately chose to reject the Patriots.

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The ability to avoid uprooting his family from the West Coast and moving out East - just one year after having to perform the upheaval in reverse when switching Buffalo for the 49ers - played a major part in Johnson's decision making.

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Having officially now opted for the Chargers, Johnson, an eight year league veteran, will help sure up a San Diego wide receiving corp now without Eddie Royal who left for the Chicago Bears earlier this offseason.

His role in San Diego too is likely to be greater than it ever would have been in New England.

The Patriots had been hoping he could provide an additional threat as part of their low-key WR depth chart. With the likes of Aaron Dobson and Brian Tyms likely to return for the 2015 season will though help soften the blow to their plans.

It remains to be seen what deal he signs in San Diego but, according to ESPN, Johnson had a "contract cash value of $6.025 million for the 2015 season."

Career to date

Stevie Johnson spent the first seven years of his NFL career playing against the New England Patriots at their AFC East rivals, the Buffalo Bills.

He enjoyed three straight 1,000 yard seasons between 2010-2012 and ended up with 28 touchdowns in that time.

The wide receiver's one season in San Francisco though was anything but a success. Johnson started only once in 13 appearances and recorded his lowest stat line since 2009.

Now lining up alongside Keenan Allen, Antonio Gates and Malcom Flloyd as targets for Phillip Rivers, it would be fair to assume better numbers for the 2015 season.

What do you think Chargers/Patriots fans? Can he replace Eddie Royal in San Diego, and did the Patriots really need another WR anyway? Let us know in the comments section below...

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San Diego Chargers

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