Colt McCoy takes a pay cut, sort of

AP

The day after 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh proclaimed Colt McCoy to be the team’s backup quarterback, McCoy agreed to a dramatic reduction of his base salary.

We doubt it’s a coincidence.

PFT has confirmed that McCoy, in a new contract finalized on Monday, August 26, McCoy dropped his base salary from $1.5 million to the fourth-year minimum of $630,000, with the balance converted to per-game roster bonuses.

That’s a total of $870,000, earned at the rate of $54,375 per game on which McCoy is named to the active, 46-man roster.

If McCoy really is the backup quarterback, he’ll be active for every game, and he’ll earn his money.  If he slips behind B.J. Daniels or Seneca Wallace, the 49ers will save $54,375 for each game in which the 49ers add McCoy to the game-day inactive list.

If the 49ers believe in McCoy as the backup to Colin Kaepernick, why squeeze McCoy to reduce his base salary and to stay healthy?  Any injury that knocks him out of the lineup will cost him significantly.

The truth likely is that the 49ers were on the fence about McCoy at $1.5 million, absent a guarantee he’ll be dressed for every game.  With the assurance that they’ll pay him less if he doesn’t suit up, the 49ers felt better about keeping him around.

All things considered, it’s hardly a ringing endorsement for McCoy, and it makes us wonder whether the 49ers believe that, in time, Daniels or Wallace will leapfrog McCoy.