The 49ers, who were expected to go after a wide receiver in Friday's draft, landed one hours before the second round even began. The team acquired veteran Stevie Johnson, who was born in San Francisco and went to high school in Fairfield, from the Bills for a conditional draft pick next year. As it stands now, that pick is a fourth-round selection, but it can improve to a third rounder if certain, undisclosed parameters are met.
Johnson, 27, had been a productive - if not controversial - receiver in Buffalo, but he became expendable when the Bills drafted Sammy Watkins in the first round Thursday. Johnson had 52 catches for 597 yards and three touchdowns in 12 games last season and more than 1,000 receiving yards in each of the three previous seasons.
"Today's decision was not an easy one to make, especially involving a player like Stevie," Bills general manager Doug Whaley said in a statement. "We wish him best of luck with the 49ers and his NFL career."
He also caused the Bills a few headaches.
He was fined three times after illegal end-zone celebrations, including a $10,000 fine in 2011 after he pantomimed shooting himself in the thigh, a dig at Jets opponent Plaxico Burress. Burress served 20 months in prison on a weapons charge after accidentally shooting himself in a New York City nightclub in 2008. He also raised eyebrows following a relatively unproductive and injury-filled 2013 season when he told the Buffalo News that he didn't work out that offseason.
At 6-2, 210 pounds, Johnson, a seventh-round pick out of Kentucky in 2008, has size and has been a dependable possession receiver, averaging 12.7 yards a catch over his career. However, he does not have the speed the 49ers presumably are seeking at the position.
The other veteran wideouts on the roster include starters Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree, as well as Brandon Lloyd, Quinton Patton, Kassim Osgood and Devon Wylie. Crabtree is signed through the upcoming season; Boldin is signed through 2015.
Johnson, meanwhile, is under contract through the next three seasons, although the last two years are at salaries approaching $6 million.
-- Matt Barrows