While Barkley was never in contention for San Francisco’s starting quarterback job given that the club also inked Brian Hoyer this spring, he was thought to be assured of the 49ers’ backup position. The 26-year-old started six games for the Bears last season, but completed only 59.7% of his passes and tossed 14 interceptions. Barkley’s two-year, $4MM deal with the Niners included $500K in guarantees, so the team will incur $250K in dead money over the next two seasons.
San Francisco will now presumably use third-round rookie C.J. Beathard as its backup signal-caller. Beathard, an Iowa product, was thought to be an overdraft on Day 2, but he’s showed relatively well during camp and the preseason. Of course, the 49ers could also look to find another quarterback via trade or waiver claim in the coming days.
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