Receiver Stevie Johnson, who was cut last week by the 49ers, has decided to join the Chargers on a three-year deal.
Johnson had considered returning to San Francisco at a reduced salary, but the 49ers fell out of the running for his services and ultimately decided between the Patriots and Chargers. Johnson is from the Bay Area and recently had been living in Elk Grove.
The 49ers sent a fourth-round pick to Buffalo last year to acquire him. With the trade, the 49ers also took on Johnson’s contract, which called for him to count more than $6 million against the salary cap in the next two seasons. That was too rich for the 49ers, who released Johnson last week.
The 28-year-old receiver finished third on the team in receiving last year, catching 35 passes for 435 yards and three touchdowns. At one point he was nearly as productive as starter Michael Crabtree despite playing half Crabtree's snaps. Johnson missed the final three games of the season with a knee injury.
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He became expendable after the 49ers signed free-agent Torrey Smith to a five-year deal. Smith and Anquan Boldin are expected to be the starters in 2015 with Bruce Ellington, Quinton Patton, Jerome Simpson and perhaps a draft pick figuring into the mix at wide receiver.
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.