The San Francisco 49ers used the waived/injured designation on two players Monday afternoon, and we have resolution for one of them. They used the designation on wide receiver B.J. Johnson after he suffered a hamstring injury that might be a partial tear. They also used it on linebacker Jimmie Gilbert, who tore his ACL.
Johnson cleared waivers Tuesday afternoon, which means he reverts to the 49ers injured reserve list. The team did not use the designation on Gilbert until after 1 p.m. PT, which means the waive move does not reflect until the next day. We’ll find out on Wednesday if Gilbert cleared waivers.
Johnson is on IR now, which means he no longer counts against the team’s 90-man roster limit. If he remains on injured reserve, he could receive his full base salary, but more than likely his contract will offer a “split salary” for a stay on IR. That means he would receive less than the full base salary dictated by the CBA.
If the injury is not a true season-ender, the 49ers and Johnson could negotiate an injury settlement. That would mean the 49ers pay him game checks for however many weeks the injury keeps him out, based on a proration of the league minimum salary ($465,000). If they agreed to a settlement, he would immediately become a free agent, and could sign elsewhere. The 49ers would have to wait the length of the settlement plus three weeks if they wanted to bring him back.
Whether there is an injury settlement or Johnson spends the season on injured reserve, the 49ers will now be carrying some portion of his base salary on the books. He received no guaranteed money, so there is nothing there to prorate. If he remains on 49ers IR the full season, the cap hit would be however much his base salary calls for while being on IR (full or split salary).