Updates from Friday, May 23
Jay Skorski of The Buffalo News has cap news regarding the deal:
Fans wanted the San Francisco 49ers to make a splash on Day 2 of the 2014 NFL draft, and they delivered by trading for Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson. The Bills confirmed the deal on their Twitter feed Friday:
Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported the news on Twitter:
Tim Graham of The Buffalo News later confirmed the trade and provided a statement from Bills GM Doug Whaley:
"Stevie was a great contributor during his career with our organization. Today's decision was not an easy one to make, especially involving a player like Stevie who leaves everything he has on the field and is an emotional leader in our locker room.
"All of the decisions we make are done so in the best interest of our team. We wish him the best of luck in San Francisco and throughout the rest of his NFL career. We also want to thank Stevie and his family for their commitment to the Buffalo Bills and the community over the last six years."
Johnson bid farewell to his former team via Twitter:
After moving back in the 2nd round, and moving back up shortly thereafter, the 49ers acquired a 2015 4th-round pick, which is the price they paid for Johnson. ESPN's Adam Schefter provided details:
The move is a perfect one for the Niners, who were looking for more talent and stability at the wide receiver position. While Anquan Boldin (33) is still under contract, the aging wideout needed to be replaced in the future. And Michael Crabtree is entering a contract year.
Johnson has been a productive receiver in the past, but he had a year to forget with the Bills in 2013. The 27-year-old missed four games due to injury and caught 52 passes for just 597 yards and three touchdowns.
Adding Johnson offensively immediately boosts the 49ers passing game, which is useful with the 2013 Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks in their own division. Though it could be a move looking toward the future, Tim Kawakami of San Jose Mercury News believes it's a quick fix:
Meanwhile, Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated doesn't think the job is done yet for San Fran, who have five Day 2 picks:
Before the draft started, Albert Breer of NFL.com saw the trade coming, along with another that might be coming in the future:
Breer now reports the Bills might have been working before the draft to deal Johnson:
As for the Bills, the team made a huge move early in the draft to get Sammy Watkins. The Clemson star bolsters a lineup that already includes Robert Woods, Mike Williams and T.J. Graham, making four receivers fighting for the No. 1 and 2 jobs for E.J. Manuel.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes the timing of the move:
Kawakami mentioned the cap hit for Johnson, which likely factored into the Bills dealing him. With Johnson's contract off the board, it will be easier for the team to re-sign players it wants to retain in the future.
Buffalo now has a young cast to build around for the future on offense and defense. San Francisco now has a team that can immediately compete for the NFC West and a Super Bowl this season.
Oh, and this is only the second day of the selection process. Expect more to come from this year's wild, drama-filled draft.
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