This much is known: Veteran Seneca Wallace had no chance to stick with the 49ers after coach Jim Harbaugh announced Colt McCoy would start the season as the team's backup quarterback.
After that, the story is a little hazy.
Coach Jim Harbaugh said he spoke with Seneca Wallace on Thursday before the 49ers' flight to San Diego for the exhibition finale against the San Diego Chargers. He said Wallace expressed to him that he would not continue to play football.
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"(That was) something that was his decision," Harbaugh told three Bay Area reporters in San Diego following the 49ers' 41-6 victory over the Chargers. "He felt strongly about it. Don't talk people out of that. Never seen it done on game day, but I wish him well and it got Colt (McCoy) and B.J. (Daniels) more snaps tonight."
But Wallace had a different version of events.
"For him to come out and say that, 'Hey, Seneca's planning on his retirement' ... I don’t think that's even 100-percent fair for him to come out and say that because I don't even know him," Wallace told the Des Moines Register. "I think that should be my decision."
Wallace, a college star at Iowa State, said he asked the 49ers to release him.
"I have not retired," Wallace said. "I have just removed myself from the San Francisco situation because it wasn't a perfect fit for me."
The 49ers signed Wallace after reserves Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien struggled in the team's first two exhibition games. Just two days after Wallace signed, McCoy agreed to a restructured contract in which his $1.5 million salary was lowered to a base deal of $630,000 with $870,000 available in per-game roster bonuses.
Wallace said he believes the 49ers signed him as leverage in order to get McCoy to agree to a salary reduction.
"I've been around this game long enough where I can see what's going on," Wallace said. "And I realized right away the reason they brought me here was to get Colt to take a pay cut."
Wallace, 33, played seven NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks and Cleveland Browns. He did not make an NFL roster last season after the Browns released him in training camp. He signed this offseason with the New Orleans Saints but was released after two exhibition games. The 49ers picked him up.
Wallace said he asked for and was granted his released. Through Friday, the 49ers had not released Wallace.