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Thursday, July 25, 2013
The bizarre case of the missing $2 million

By Mike Sando

The chart we ran following Eric Wright's trade to the San Francisco 49ers requires two updates. First, we need to subtract Wright from the mix after the 49ers failed him on a physical examination, voiding the trade. Then we need to subtract $2 million in projected 2013 salary for starting cornerback Tarell Brown.

The change affecting Brown's salary came to light Thursday when Brian McIntyre reported a most unusual development. Turns out Brown unwittingly forfeited a $2 million salary escalator when he skipped the 49ers' voluntary workout program, reducing his 2013 salary to $925,000.

Brown subsequently told reporters he had fired agent Brian Overstreet, who had negotiated the deal back in 2009.

The deal Brown signed in 2009 carried a $925,000 base salary in 2013, the final year of the deal. The projected figure increased to $2.925 million through what appeared to be a standard contract escalator. But the money was contingent upon Brown attending the team's offseason program in 2013. Brown forfeited the money when he failed to show.

Brown, 28, was a potential candidate for a contract extension even before this development. Tearing up his old deal would make even more sense for him at this point.

Cornerback is a position for the 49ers to address in the next year or so. The team's formidable front seven has generally taken pressure off the secondary by disrupting opposing quarterbacks. That could be the case again this season now that Justin Smith and Aldon Smith are healthy. The team also added Glenn Dorsey in free agency and Tank Carradine through the draft.

"Bigger picture, you could see their first-rounder being a corner next year," Matt Williamson, NFL scout for ESPN.com, said recently.