The 49ers may have a void on the offensive line this offseason while left guard Laken Tomlinson (torn MCL) and center Weston Richburg (knee/quadriceps) work back from injuries.
So the club on Tuesday signed former Pittsburgh Steelers fifth-round draft pick Wesley Johnson to a one-year contract and waived reserve tight end Marcus Lucas. It came a day after adding another offensive lineman, Willie Beavers, off waivers.
Johnson, 28, after being drafted in 2014, has played for the New York Jets, Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins, including last season, when he appeared in 10 games. He has 25 starts in 53 games, including 23 games in 2016 and 2017 at center with New York.
The battle for roster spots on the offensive line should be competitive behind the presumptive five starters from 2018 — Joe Staley, Tomlinson, Richburg, Mike Person and Mike McGlinchey.
The team still has 2016 first-round draft pick Joshua Garnett, 2017 undrafted free agent Erik Magnuson, free-agent addition Ben Garland and recent undrafted rookie Ross Reynolds. The team used a sixth-round draft pick on Vanderbilt tackle Justin Skule, who will battle Shon Coleman for the “swing” backup role behind Staley and McGlinchey.