49ers roster cuts: 4 players San Francisco will regret letting go
By Peter Panacy
49ers Cut No. 1: Cornerback Dontae Johnson
There have to be a few 49ers fans out there in the Dontae Johnson fan club.
The veteran cornerback, so often a 53rd man on a Niners 53-man roster, essentially lost his roster spot to one of San Francisco’s recent camp adds, Davontae Harris, who has eight starts since joining the league as a fifth-round NFL Draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals back in 2018.
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True, Harris is younger. And it’s entirely possible defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans liked what he saw from Harris, particularly in press-man coverage, over what Johnson had done in reserve duties last year.
That said, the 49ers have always seemingly liked Johnson, both because of his veteran’s savvy and ability to play both on the boundary and over the slot.
In an ideal world, of course, the Niners won’t have to rely too much on Harris for games at all, instead letting the trio of Jason Verrett, Emmanuel Moseley and K’Waun Williams shoulder the bulk of the load while working in rookies Ambry Thomas and Deommodore Lenoir.
Of course, it wouldn’t be shocking whatsoever to see Johnson revert back to being one of those players frequently added to San Francisco’s regular-season roster when the need arises. It seems to be his yearly tradition anyway.
Yet one can wonder if Harris winds up being an upgrade in 2021.