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Doug Whaley says Stevie Johnson trade was done in 'best interest of our team'

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The Buffalo Bills released a statement from General Manager Doug Whaley about today's trade that sent Stevie Johnson to the San Francisco 49ers for a conditional 2015 fourth-round draft choice:

"Stevie was a great contributor during his career with our organization. Today's decision was not an easy one to make, especially involving a player like Stevie who leaves everything he has on the field and is an emotional leader in our locker room.

"All of the decisions we make are done so in the best interest of our team. We wish him the best of luck in San Francisco and throughout the rest of his NFL career. We also want to thank Stevie and his family for their commitment to the Buffalo Bills and the community over the last six years."

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Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining NFL.com as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.