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August 27, 2013
Colt McCoy reduced base salary to the league minimum

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Colt McCoy, who was named the 49ers' No. 2 quarterback after Sunday's preseason win against the Vikings, renegotiated his salary to the league minimum the day before the game, according to NFL Players Association records. McCoy is due to earn $630,000 in base salary this year - the minimum for a fourth-year player - which is down from the $1.5 million he was due to earn in 2013.

McCoy is in the final year of his contract. The new deal also has a roster bonus of $54,375 per game, according to the NFLPA. That means if McCoy is in uniform for all 16 games this season, he'll earn an additional $870,000. That, plus his base salary, equals the $1.5 million he was going to earn before the restructure. In essence, the 49ers are telling McCoy that he has to earn his No. 2 status in order to earn his previous salary.

Put another way: They've taken economics out of the equation when it comes to evaluating their backup quarterbacks. McCoy's new cap figure is $1.45 million.

Heading into Sunday's game, McCoy's spot on the roster seemed tenuous. He played poorly in the 49ers' first two preseason games, and the 49ers added another veteran quarterback, Seneca Wallace, to the roster on Thursday.

McCoy blamed his slow start on straining to learn the 49ers' copious playbook. He said everything began to click for him last week. He had a good week of practice leading into Sunday's game and then played better, though not perfectly, against the Vikings. That, coupled with the new contract, changed his prospects.

"The thing that's been very encouraging is he's progressed and gotten better every week," Jim Harbaugh said after the game. "Tonight, just down after down, consistently good, that's what we've been looking for."

Harbaugh and McCoy are represented by the same agent, David Dunn.

The 49ers reduced their quarterback corps by one Monday when they cut Scott Tolzien. With Colin Kaepernick and McCoy set as the Nos. 1 and 2 passers, look for Wallace and rookie B.J. Daniels to take most of the snaps in Thursday's finale.

The 49ers must further trim their roster by nine players today.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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