I don’t want to say that recently signed center Wesley Johnson is a camp body, but … he’s a camp body. Kyle “the new Fooch” Posey said it plainly:
The 49ers have now added six OL since re-signing Mike Person this offseason. Johnson should help fill in for injured Weston Richburg, who isn’t expected to be able to fully participate until training camp in July.
Translation: once Weston Richburg is fully cleared, Johnson would be wise to have his bags packed.
Age: 28 (turns 29 on January 9, 2020)
Experience: 5 seasons
Height: 6’ 5”
The details of Johnson’s contract have not been announced, but odds are good that he’s receiving the veteran minimum which, with 4 to 6 accrued seasons, would be $805,000. According to Spotrac, though, if he did not receive more than $90,000 in bonuses (which seems like a safe bet), his cap hit will be only $645,000. In any case, his contract is almost certainly not guaranteed so it’s unlikely there is any dead money at all if he’s cut.
What to expect in 2019:
Johnson has been kicking around the league for five years. Last year, the Dolphins signed him off the street in October, then suffered a horrible rash of injuries. Miami coach Adam Gase’s reaction in this November 10th interview tells you what you need to know:
Another option Miami could use is to start veteran center Wesley Johnson, who the team signed last month. Asked if Johnson was a possibility, Gase laughed and replied, “If you’ve got a pulse, you’re in the mix. We’re out of guys.”
The punchline? Johnson played a total of one offensive snap in the six remaining games. Guess it didn’t go so well. (To be fair, he played three or four special teams snaps per game for a total of 19 plays.)
Odds of making the roster:
This team is likely to carry two centers, and those centers are extremely likely to be Weston Richburg and Erik “Goldmine” Magnuson, who also plays tackle. If either gets injured before the season starts, Johnson will have a fighting chance — but the team may also bring in another center (perhaps a veteran who gets cut from another camp) to compete with him.
Johnson seems like a nice guy, and he’s had a good run, but his odds of being a 2019 49er are very small.