LONDON – Cornerback Tarell Brown has enough of a challenge facing him Sunday without being distracted by off-the-field concerns.
Brown is allowing his new agent, Joel Segal, and the 49ers’ front office to handle all of the complexities of his contract situation, which has been hanging over his head for the past three months.
Brown lost a $2 million escalator from his scheduled 2013 salary because he did not complete the fifth and final – and easiest requirement -- to kick in his $2.95 million salary. All he had to do was attend the 49ers’ offseason program. He was not aware of that requirement in his contract until the offseason program was concluded and training camp was ready to begin.
Instead, Brown is playing this season with a base salary of $925,000, which is far under market value for a productive, veteran starter. Brown is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. His future with the 49ers likely hinges on the organization coming up with a suitable resolution before he hits the open market.
Brown is expected to regain a large potion of the lost money from his former agent, Brian Overstreet, through legal channels.
“There’s going to be money coming in from different avenues (to him), and we’re going to do our best to make it right,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said Friday. “What is right? I don’t know the answer to that. We’re going to do our best to make sure that T-Brown feels like he’s been treated fairly by the 49ers organization.
“There are different layers to it to how we can structure and put something together."
Brown has maintained a professional approach since reporting to camp amid the news of his greatly reduced salary.
“I’m focused on football,” Brown said. “The biggest thing right now is to focus on this game, us playing against Jacksonville. The rest of that will take care of itself. I leave that to upstairs and my agent, and they’ll do the best they can to make it work.”
On the field, Brown figures to see a lot of Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon, who has led the NFL in receiving in October after serving a four-game suspension to open the season. Blackmon has 25 receptions for 384 yards in just three games.
“He’s a young guy who’s coming in and making a lot of plays,” Brown said. “You can see they’re featuring him. He does a great job of using his body, his strength and his size. And it’s something all of us DBs are going to have to be on our game to cover that guy.”