The 49ers traded a pass rusher for a receiver this morning, sending preseason finale star Cam Johnson to the Colts for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2014. That made room on the 53-man roster for wide receiver Chris Harper, whom the 49ers signed from the Seahawks practice squad.
"We appreciate Cam's efforts since joining our team a year ago," 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. "He has continued to grow as a football player and we wish him all the best with his new opportunity in Indianapolis."
Harper, 23, was a fourth-round pick by the Seahawks this year. At 6-1, 234 pounds, he's a big-bodied player who had 58 catches, 857 receiving yards and three touchdowns last year at Kansas State. During Seattle's preseason, he had four catches for 39 yards with a long of 16.
Harper was taken with the 123rd pick in the draft (fourth round), which is five picks before the 49ers selected receiver Quinton Patton. He'll join a wide-receiving corps of Anquan Boldin, Kyle Williams, Patton, Marlon Moore and Jon Baldwin.
As for Johnson, he was a seventh-round pick in the 2012 drafty. He spent his rookie season overcoming injuries but started to round into form this year. He had the NFL game of his life in Thursday's preseason, finishing with two sacks, a blocked punt and recovering the loose ball in the end zone for a touchdown.
Despite that game, Johnson likely would have been inactive on game days. The 49ers still have four outside linebackers on the roster, Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks, Corey Lemonier and Dan Skuta. Unlike Johnson, Skuta is valuable on special teams.
With Johnson gone, the only two members of the 49ers' 2012 draft class that remain are: LaMichael James (second rd) and Joe Looney (fourth rd).