The odd man out in the 49ers' quarterback competition turned out to be the new guy. The 49ers this evening announced they had cut 21 players in an effort to trim their roster to 53 men, and the most prominent name was Josh Johnson's.
The quarterback had by far his best effort of the exhibition season Thursday in throwing for 125 yards and two touchdowns and adding 50 yards on the ground. Still, the 49ers will go into the season with the same three quarterbacks from a year ago: Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick and Scott Tolzien.
The 49ers' initial cuts also leave them with just three outside linebackers for the second straight season. Among those cut Friday were seventh-round draft pick Cam Johnson, Erik Bakhtiari, Kenny Rowe and Ikaika Alama-Francis. The three surviving outside linebackers are Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks and Parys Haralson.
The 49ers will go into the season with five safeties: Dashon Goldson, Donte Whitner, C.J. Spillman, Darcel McBath and sixth-round pick Trenton Robinson. Also making the initial roster was tight end Garrett Celek, the younger brother of Eagles tight end Brent Celek. An undrafted rookie, Celek caught a touchdown from Johnson Thursday night.