Brown was scheduled to make $2.925 million in the final year of a six-year deal, but unbeknownst to him, there was an escalator clause that stipulated that he participate in a voluntary workout program with the team. Because Brown trained at his home in Texas, as usual, his contract reverted to a $925,000 base salary.
Coach Jim Harbaugh hinted Sunday that the 49ers are probably considering something that addresses the situation.
“Well, don’t want to break a long-standing policy and that’s not to discuss contracts in the media; I don’t think it’s anybody’s best interest to do that,” Harbaugh said. “But this is maybe an exception to the rule. And just think that there’s a solution there. Don’t know that it’s any one particular thing. But I think we’ll explore all those options and find the solution.
“It’s there. You’ve just got to do some thinking and do some work and get it done. But we’re very motivated to do that because he deserves it. He’s earned it. I don’t want to see him playing for the minimum when he’s a starting top-end player.”
Harbaugh said Brown has looking good on the field in spite of the situation and that he felt bad for the player when he realized the situation.
After some resolution is reached “this will hopefully get to the point where you laugh about that and chuckle about that. That’s the way I’d like to see it go,” Harbaugh said.
Brown first learned the news on Thursday through Twitter, which led him to ultimately fire agent Brian Overstreet.
Brown received a $7.125 million, three-year contract extension in late October 2009 that takes him through this season.
A fifth-round draft pick in 2007 out of Texas, Brown became a regular starter in 2011 and has started all 32 games the past two years. He had 57 tackles and two interceptions last season as NFC champion San Francisco’s top cornerback and among the best in the league.