With Johnson on board, 49ers release veteran Jackson

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers waived receiver Darrell Jackson on Saturday after one unproductive season with the club.

Jackson joined the 49ers in a trade last April after eight seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. He made at least one catch in each of his 15 starts for San Francisco, but finished the season with just 46 catches for 497 yards and three touchdowns in the NFL's least productive offense.

"I always had a great deal of respect for Darrell," 49ers coach Mike Nolan said. "I appreciated his dedication and work ethic during his season with the 49ers. He always had a positive attitude every day he came to work. While we are going in a different direction, I know he can still produce and be an asset to an NFL team this year."

San Francisco signed longtime Rams receiver Isaac Bruce as a free agent last month, adding another veteran who spent his entire career with a division rival. The 49ers also signed Bryant Johnson, the Arizona Cardinals' No. 3 receiver for the last five seasons, to play alongside Arnaz Battle and Ashley Lelie in what's been arguably the NFL's least impressive group of pass-catchers for the last few seasons.

The 49ers have fruitlessly searched for good veteran receivers during Nolan's three seasons with the club, with a spate of dismal signings that include aging standouts Johnnie Morton and Curtis Conway. San Francisco also got one tumultuous season from Antonio Bryant, who performed fairly well but earned a four-game suspension from the NFL late in the 2006 season, prompting the 49ers to dump him.

Last spring, they signed Lelie and took a chance on Jackson in a trade with Seattle for a fourth-round pick. Neither deal has worked out, with Lelie struggling to get playing time behind Battle and Jackson.

Jackson would have made $4 million next season in salary and bonuses. Bruce agreed to a two-year, $6 million deal two weeks ago.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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