49ers Release Stevie Johnson

WEDNESDAY, 6:13pm: Johnson has officially been released by the 49ers, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com (via Twitter).

7:13am: With Smith’s deal set to become official on Wednesday, the 49ers will release Johnson today, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who says the two sides weren’t able to work out an agreement on a pay cut (Twitter link).

TUESDAY, 7:21pm: Johnson remains on the 49ers’ roster, but there are ongoing discussions about reducing or restructuring the backup wideout’s deal, the Sacramento Bee’s Matt Barrows reports on Twitter.

MONDAY, 5:11pm: With a deal between the 49ers and Torrey Smith reportedly in the works, San Francisco will release fellow wide receiver Stevie Johnson, according to Dianna Marie Russini of NBC 4 (Twitter link). The release of Johnson will leave no dead money on San Francisco’s cap and will save the club more than $6MM.

The 49ers acquired the 28-year-old Johnson from the Bills in exchange for a conditional draft pick prior to last season. He wasn’t a focal point of the club’s offense, but he did catch 35 passes for 435 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games. San Francisco is expected to overhaul its receiving corps this offseason, and with Smith rumored to be added soon, Michael Crabtree will probably join Johnson in vacating the Bay Area.

Johnson, meanwhile, will join a rapidly thinning free agent receiver market. With the two top options — Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant — seeing the franchise tag, and the next best pass-catchers — Randall Cobb and Jeremy Maclin — already finding new deals, Johnson will be among a list of still unsigned WRs that includes Andre Johnson, Cecil Shorts, and the aforementioned Crabtree. Per Russini, Johnson is expected to land with another team “quickly.”

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