Could Josh Johnson reunite with Jim Harbaugh?

The San Francisco 49ers are in the market for a quarterback and of course they’ve been mentioned with the rest of the NFC West (not including the St. Louis Rams) as a possible landing spot for Kevin Kolb in a trade.

The Niners have been out and about doing their homework on draft candidates, but maybe another trade makes sense. Jim Harbaugh helped Josh Johnson become a star at the University of San Diego before he worked with Andrew Luck at Stanford. And there is a buzz that Johnson and Harbaugh could reunite in San Francisco.

Of course, Johnson was the backup to Josh Freeman in Tampa Bay last season. A fifth-round pick by the Bucs in 2008, when the previous regime was in charge, Johnson has developed nicely under offensive coordinator Greg Olson. He’s appeared in 17 NFL games over the previous two seasons and made four starts in 2009.

Apparently, Johnson has heard the rumors too. He knows no transactions are allowed during the lockout. Rosters are frozen until the new league year begins, whenever that is.

“I don't know what's going on with that situation, but we're locked out anyway," Johnson said, according to the San Jose Mercury News. "So I'm still part of the Buccaneers, as far as I know. I wish I could speak on it, but I can't.

"Once I saw what he was doing at Stanford, I knew he'd be in the NFL soon. Just being around him for three years, knowing how competitive he is and understanding the things he was teaching in college, I felt like it was only a matter of time.

"Even if we don't get together, there's always going to be a mutual relationship between us. There's a lot of respect there, because I know what he did for me as a player. I know how much I grew to love him and his family. I felt like it was more than just a coach-player type of thing."

Johnson also said he is enjoying himself with the Buccaneers. He’s grown there but any chance to get with a team that doesn’t have an established young star like Freeman would likely help his career.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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