As widely expected, the San Francisco 49ers have released receiver Stevie Johnson in a cost-cutting move, according to numerous reports, after acquiring him last year from the Buffalo Bills for a conditional fourth-round draft pick.
The team had yet to make any official announcements but Johnson Tweeted the following cryptic message:
Thank you #SF
— C/\lifornia Coolie (@StevieJohnson13) March 11, 2015
He also responded to a Tweet that asked if any other teams had contacted him by saying, “Yes.”
Johnson had a contract cash value of $6.025 million this season, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
In what was the seven-year veteran’s lowest output since his second season, Johnson had 35 receptions for 435 yards and three touchdowns on 50 targets in 13 games for the Niners.
His highlight game was his nine-catch, 103-yard day in Week 3 at the Arizona Cardinals.
Earlier in the day, the Niners officially announced the signing of receiver Torrey Smith.
And despite widespread speculation that outside inebacker Ahmad Brooks would be cut, what with his cap number of more than $9.648 million and a pair of benchings for poor sportsmanship and a sideline shouting match with new coach Jim Tomsula, general manager Trent Baalke told reporters on Wednesday that Brooks would return.
“A lot of assumptions were made, but wrongly,” Baalke said.
And Baalke reiterated that the team would give 14-year defensive lineman Justin Smith more time to make a decision on whether to return or retire. Smith told the Sacramento Bee he would probably make a decision next week.