Stevie Johnson can be confounding at times, but he's certainly not blind and definitely not stupid. He has been around the NFL long enough to know how things work, how a player can be considered a fixture in an organization one season and packing his bags the next.

Johnson doesn't appear to be going anywhere just yet. He'll celebrate his 28th birthday in July. He's approaching the tail end of the prime of his career, whatever that's defined. He's already been given the big payday. He wasn't productive by his standards last season for numerous reasons, including injuries.

So what's next for Stevie?

To his credit, he said all the right things this week during voluntary team activities on One Bills Drive. He praised EJ Manuel after seeing him assume more command during workouts in Florida. He supported the addition of Mike Williams and talked about team aspirations when asked about individual objectives.

“Playoffs,” Johnson said. “Playoffs and that's it. All those personal goals, they don't really mean nothing. Last year was kind of frustrating, but when I look back on it, it was a good thing. The whole individual stats and stuff is out the window. It's just playoffs now. It's winning.”

The Bills would be in much better shape if Johnson maintained that attitude through the season, but you never know with him. He's an emotional guy, which is one reason he's effective. He's competitive and physical and tough. He's also been selfish and immature over the years.

Earlier in his career, Stevie was more about himself than winning. Sure he wanted to win. Nobody is disputing that. Still, it seemed he wanted to win only if it meant him playing well, if it meant him getting the ball, if it meant becoming a star and turning each week into another episode of the Stevie Show.

But when a man loses a parent, he often gains perspective. In December, Johnson's mother passed away much too young at age 48. That would get anyone's attention. He missed the final two games with injuries. He's had four months to assess his priorities and become more appreciative of the opportunities and riches that came with the NFL.

If it made him a stronger man, it's bound to make him a better, more determined leader. That much was not lost on him earlier this week. He sounded like he was ready to embrace the role of a mature, responsible veteran who could pass along his experiences to a younger generation of teammates.