49ers deliver Dontae Johnson bad news again, but he still sticks around

·2 min read

49ers sure Johnson will contribute despite getting bad news again originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SANTA CLARA -- Just because it has happened so often, it does not make it any easier to deliver the bad news.

In fact, 49ers executives John Lynch and Adam Peters both said on Thursday that it gets more and more difficult to tell veteran defensive back Dontae Johnson that he is being cut from the 53-man roster.

“Those conversations, they’re all brutal, but talking to Dontae, if feels like its happened so many times,” Lynch said.

“I think it comes down to, ‘Dontae, we value you.’ ‘Then, why do you keep doing this?’ It’s because we trust him. He’s dependable.”

Johnson did not make the 49ers’ active roster when the club trimmed from 80 players to the regular-season limit of 53. But the 49ers are keeping Johnson around. He signed with the 49ers’ practice squad on Wednesday morning.

“We’re thankful and grateful that Dontae believes in this organization enough that he came back for us,” Lynch said. “I promise he’ll be playing at some point for us, and he’ll do a great job. That’s what he does.”

Johnson entered the NFL as a fourth-round pick of the 49ers in the 2014 NFL Draft. He played four seasons with the 49ers before short stints with Seattle, Buffalo, Arizona and Kansas City. He was among the 49ers’ final cuts of 2018, and spent a couple weeks with the Los Angeles Chargers before returning to the 49ers.

Johnson, 30, has signed contracts with the 49ers a total of 14 times in his career, according to The Athletic.

Johnson’s ability to step in at a number of different positions was a key factor for the 49ers last season.

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Late in the regular season and into the playoffs, he saw signifiant time at cornerback, nickel back and safety, in addition to special teams.

“He’s always there for us,” Lynch said. “I hate that it came down to he didn’t make it, because for a large part of the offseason right down to the end, we felt he was.

“(But) certain things break on your 53 that you feel like you need to go strong and heavy at other positions. There’s always a trickle down, so you have to make tough calls.”

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