The 49ers hit it big when they snagged Anquan Boldin from the Baltimore Ravens in an offseason trade last year, and now they're trying to recreate that success by dealing for Bills receiver Stevie Johnson.
Johnson became expendable in Buffalo when the Bills moved up and took Sammy Watkins with the fourth pick of Thursday's draft. The 49ers, in search of another weapon on offense, swooped in and landed Johnson for a fourth-round pick in 2015 that can turn into a third-rounder based on Johnson's performance, according to ESPN.
It's a prudent move for both sides. For the 49ers, they get another receiver to go with Michael Crabtree and Boldin. Although Johnson is not the deep threat the 49ers need, he has been productive. He had 3,832 yards during his time in Buffalo, including three 1,000-yard seasons. He'll be an asset, and not for a huge price.
Johnson is 27 and is coming off an injury-plagued season, so it makes sense for the rebuilding Bills to take a step back and get younger (which is why they shouldn't have paid the heavy price of a first- and fourth-round pick in 2015 to move up five spots to take Watkins, but still). Buffalo has Watkins and Marquise Goodwin and Robert Woods from last year's draft. That's a good, young receiving corps to build around, and they're better off letting them play than squeezing another year or two out of Johnson.
The 49ers got Boldin for a sixth-round pick last offseason, and he had 1,179 yards in 2013. The 49ers would look smart if they got a similar return from the Johnson trade.
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