The San Francisco 49ers made a move to bolster their wide receiver core when they acquired Stevie Johnson from the Buffalo Bills for an undisclosed 2015 draft choice. The pick is said to be a conditional fourth round pick that may become a third rounder. The trade will be made official once Johnson passes a physical.
Johnson has decent size at 6-2 207 pounds. The Bills drafter him in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft. The pick proved to be a very good one as he became the first player in Bills history to post consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Johnson reached 1,000 yards in three straight years (1,073 in 2010; 1,004 in 2011; 1,046 in 2013).
Being traded to the 49ers is a homecoming for Johnson. He was born in San Francisco and is a native of Fairfield. This move is especially good for the 49ers because Johnson is at his best when he goes against the top corners in the NFL. He is well known for his matchups against Darrell Revis. More importantly for the 49ers, he has found success against the rival Seattle Seahawks. Johnson posted eight receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown when he faced the Seahawks in 2012.
Johnson will only count $3.9 million against the salary cap in 2014. Next year his cap number will be $6.02 million and $6.12 million in 2016. He is only 27 years old and will be approaching 30 at the end of the contract. It’s safe to say that he will be a 49er for the next three years as he would be very costly to release. The possibility that Michael Crabtree may leave via free agency along with a pending retirement at some point by Anquan Boldin makes an even stronger case for keeping him around.
This move works on many levels for the 49ers. Once again, Trent Baalke has done an excellent job of acquiring talent. The 49ers can go a variety of ways in the next rounds of the draft.