It seems Harbaalke is at it again, and according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter the San Francisco 49ers have traded for Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson.
Filed to ESPN: 49ers trading a conditoonal 2015 4th-round pick to Buffalo for WR Stevie Johnson, per sources. Pick can become a 3rd.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 9, 2014
Johnson, the San Francisco native, comes over for a conditional fourth-round draft pick. He immediately upgrades a San Francisco receiving corps that already boasts targets such as Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree, and Vernon Davis. The pick has the potential to turn into a third based on production.
Interestingly, this trade comes less than 24 hours after the Bills drafted Clemson wideout Sammy Watkins with the #4 overall pick.
Last season Steve Johnson caught 52 passes on 100 targets for 597 yards and three touchdowns, although those were his worst numbers in four years. The three years before that he hit 1,000 yards receiving and had at least 76 receptions while also not missing a game.
The biggest thing about this trade is how much it will effect San Francisco’s draft strategy going forward. They hold five draft picks today — two 2nds and three 3rds — and now have more options available to them. They have filled arguably their two biggest needs in cornerback and wide receiver, so now they can target other areas of concerns. Or perhaps they continue to add depth at either of those positions?
Lastly, Steve Johnson is in the third year of a five-year deal, and this makes things interesting with Crabtree in the final year of his deal.
According to Matt Maiocco “Johnson is signed through the 2016 season with contracts set to pay him 5.674 million this season, $6.025 million in 2015 and $6.125 million in 2016.”