SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) The San Francisco 49ers released quarterback Matt Barkley on Friday, clearing the way for rookie C.J. Beathard to open the season as the backup to Brian Hoyer.
The Niners had been debating whether to keep two or three quarterbacks but opted for only two after a successful preseason for Beathard. The third-round pick out of Iowa posted a 107.7 passer rating in exhibition games and also scored on a 62-yard run Thursday night against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Barkley threw only 21 passes and didn’t play at all in the preseason finale as coach Kyle Shanahan said he knew what Barkley could do and wanted to see younger quarterbacks like Beathard and undrafted rookie Nick Mullens, who could be a candidate for the practice squad.