Many viewed the San Francisco 49ers’ decision to add wide receiver Stevie Johnson as a great move and one that bolstered an already talented receiving core.
But now it appears the former Bills standout isn’t even a lock to win the No. 3 wide receiver job behind Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree.
From Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area:
Johnson is the front-runner to win the No. 3 job. But if he does not win the No. 3 job, he does not figure to be with the team under his scheduled $3.925 million salary.
Although he is signed through 2016, his salaries for the final two years are more than $6 million — so it’s not certain if he fits into the team’s long-term plans.
Johnson is a proven player, but it does not appear as if he and quarterback Colin Kaepernick have yet developed great on-field chemistry.
Johnson’s top competition for the gig is Brandon Lloyd, who has impressed this summer and Maiocco says should make the 49ers roster.
It would be a sizable blow to the Niners if Johnson is unable to win the No. 3 job, considering the team traded a 2015 fourth-round pick for him this offseason and they would ultimately have given that away for nothing.
Johnson caught 52 passes for 597 yards and three touchdowns this past season with Buffalo. Lloyd, who was last in the NFL in 2012 with the New England Patriots, caught 74 passes for 911 yards and four touchdowns in his last season.