It would appear after some starting and stopping, the San Francisco 49ers have released wide receiver Stevie Johnson. The team has not yet made it official, but the beat writers are reporting it has finally happened. Additionally, Stevie Johnson posted this on Twitter. And unlike that Instagram account, we do know this is Stevie (well, unless he later claims he got hacked!).
Thank you #SF— C/\lifornia Coolie (@StevieJohnson13) March 11, 2015
This move will clear $6,025,000 in cap space, which gives the 49ers approximately $18 million in cap space. That reflects the Torrey Smith, Darnell Dockett and Kyle Nelson contracts, but does not factor in Blaine Gabbert.
Matt Maiocco reported earlier on Wednesday that the 49ers would like to have Johnson back at a discounted rate. The two sides were reportedly discussing a salary cut, but could not come to terms. Johnson will now hit free agency and see what kind of deal he can land. Johnson was effective when on the field, but injuries and curious playing time decisions limited his opportunities. The wide receiver market remains pretty big, which lowers the demand. Considering we have not heard a whisper related to Michael Crabtree, I can't imagine there will be a huge market for Stevie Johnson.