49ers trade Cam Johnson to Indianapolis Colts

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

The San Francisco 49ers have traded outside linebacker Cam Johnson to the Indianapolis Colts. We break down what it could mean. New to Niners Nation? Sign up here and join the discussion!

We've got a minor bomb-shell this morning. The Indianapolis Colts have announced they have acquired outside linebacker Cam Johnson in exchange for a conditional draft pick. Matt Maiocco had the first reports on the deal, and indicated this would likely be the corresponding move to the reported addition of wide receiver Chris Harper.

At the 53-man roster cutdown, The 49ers kept Johnson as one of five outside linebackers alongside Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks, Corey Lemonier and Dan Skuta. Johnson emerged in the preseason with a strong performance, capped by two sacks, several QB hurries and a blocked punt.

The 49ers kept ten total linebackers at the deadline, and it is not exactly shocking to see them part ways with one of them. Johnson showed a lot this preseason, but it is worth noting that he still was going to be buried pretty far down the depth chart. Lemonier emerged as a potentially strong pass rushing threat, and likely will be the primary man off the bench behind Smith and Brooks.

That doesn't mean Johnson would not have contributed this year, but we have to keep it in perspective. Smith and Brooks will be playing most of the time. There was only so much room for outside linebackers. Johnson had the big punt block, but otherwise was not a huge contributor to special teams. If the 49ers can secure a draft pick for the former seventh round pick, all the better.

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