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If Kelly turns around Kaepernick, 49ers still have a bargain

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The team-friendly contract signed by 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was team-friendly not just because the team has the annual ability to cut Kaepernick loose and avoid future guaranteed money. It also was team-friendly because it pays Kaepernick far less than the top end of the market.

So if new coach Chip Kelly can get the most out of Colin Kaepernick, they’ll have a quarterback at a reasonable price, relative to the current cost of quarterbacks.

For 2016, Kaepernick costs $11.9 million. For 2017, he’ll be at $12.5 million. Come 2018, the salary is $13 million. For 2019, it’s $16.8 million. For 2020, it’s $19 million.

Much more money gets unlocked if he ever becomes a first-team All-Pro or takes the 49ers to the Super Bowl (he also must participate in 80 percent of the snaps). And he has $2 million per year tied to per-game roster bonuses.

The dollars are big but they’re not huge, especially if Kelly can get Kaepernick performing more like he did under Jim Harbaugh and less like he did under Jim Tomsula.

For now, it’s still not clear whether the 49ers intend to see whether Kelly can accomplish that, because no one knows whether the 49ers plan to keep Kaepernick. Including Kaepernick.

Via Can Inman of the San Jose Mercury News, Kaepernick wasn’t consulted by the team during the coaching search, and he’s unsure how to react to the news that Kelly is the coach because Kaepernick is unsure whether the team wants him back for 2016.

Everyone will have an answer by April 1. That’s when Kaepernick’s salary for 2016 becomes fully guaranteed. If he’s still on the roster then, he’ll most likely be on the team this year.

For anyone looking for a hint, consider this: The clearance sale at the team’s website on Kaepernick jerseys is now over.

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53 Responses to “If Kelly turns around Kaepernick, 49ers still have a bargain”
  1. vancouversportsbro says: Jan 14, 2016 4:02 PM

    Well he’s not going to. Harbaugh was the only one who could make him look good for a half a year.

  2. blakeden says: Jan 14, 2016 4:03 PM

    If the queen had balls she’d be king

  3. coltzfan166 says: Jan 14, 2016 4:03 PM

    I feel like a big reason they hired Chip (other than losing out on Hue Jackson) is because they believe he’s the guy that can turn Kaep around. If they were gonna start over with a guy like Goff or Lynch, then I feel that they would’ve gone with someone like Shanahan, Koetter, or Shula

  4. 1nationraidernation says: Jan 14, 2016 4:03 PM

    the key word was “if”

  5. 1nationraidernation says: Jan 14, 2016 4:05 PM

    “if” i had the winning numbers for powerball I wouldn’t be typing this right now

  6. shaggytoodle says: Jan 14, 2016 4:05 PM

    Chip may like Kaeps ability to run, but the way the 9ers treated him last season I can’t imagine him wanting to go back there for any reason but the money.

    Kaeps also may not be like Sam Bradford enough for Kelly to want to keep him around.

  7. pinkmist4 says: Jan 14, 2016 4:06 PM

    It’s easy to mock him and all, and Lord knows I hated that bicep kissing, but they’d be crazy to give up on that kind of physical talent….

  8. missingsock215 says: Jan 14, 2016 4:06 PM

    Remember when Kelly said Bradford was “his guy” all along? We’ll see how true that is when the Eagles fail to franchise tag him. This guy totally destroyed the Eagles franchise for the foreseeable future.

  9. bassplucker says: Jan 14, 2016 4:10 PM

    Sorry, don’t see it happening. Mariota and Kap are both QBs with a lot of speed, nice length and unusual athleticism, but in every other way they’re complete opposites. Kap might be the kind of QB Kelly likes from an athletic perspective but I don’t see them meshing personality wise at all.

  10. nwofolife says: Jan 14, 2016 4:11 PM

    He’s only a bargain if he’s any good. Otherwise he’s a 12 million dollar waste of money. 49ers fans don’t wanna hear this but the guy can’t read defenses. He looks like a dear in headlights and his first reaction is to duck his head and run. He’s also garbage under pressure. He just loses it mentally when he gets pressured or has to win from behind.

    If I had to put money on a current 49er qb, I’d rather put my hard on money that Gabbert improves more under Kelly than the Kraper does.

  11. mataug says: Jan 14, 2016 4:11 PM

    It mostly depends on how well they draft on the defensive side & have a great defense again. That was the soul of this team, not Kap.
    Seattle doesn’t play shootout games, neither did the 49ers.

  12. alliwantisluv says: Jan 14, 2016 4:15 PM

    Good luck….

  13. jdillydawg says: Jan 14, 2016 4:16 PM

    Chip likes get rid of players and bring in his own. If his time in Philly is any indication, the whole Harbaugh/Kap/Smith debacle could look like a mere spat.

  14. fumblenuts says: Jan 14, 2016 4:17 PM

    After how well QB Blaine Gabbert played I don’t see Krap on the 49ers next year…….

  15. imcornholious says: Jan 14, 2016 4:19 PM

    Good luck 9ers’ fans…

  16. petersjeffrey36 says: Jan 14, 2016 4:19 PM

    why get rid of him if your not in cap trouble??…come OTA and preseason make your QBs earn there spot on the roster worse case scenerio you cut him then if he is still not performing

  17. pintheb says: Jan 14, 2016 4:22 PM

    And everyone said “hurr dirt you guys paid Kaepernick wayyyyy to much”

    Niners will be fine. As long as Chip coaches and that’s it.

  18. niners816 says: Jan 14, 2016 4:24 PM

    The only reason why I like the Chip Kelly hiring is because his offense will be fun to watch with Kaep. If Kaep can turn it around and the Niners become good again, then this will make Baalke look good for hiring Chip Kelly. They really didn’t have any other options, so I’m okay with this hire, as long as it produces results.

  19. niners816 says: Jan 14, 2016 4:25 PM

    blakeden says:
    Jan 14, 2016 4:03 PM
    If the queen had balls she’d be king
    Is that you, Caitlyn?

  20. ngbradley says: Jan 14, 2016 4:27 PM

    There are a lot of Myths about Kap’s production.

    his 2012 regular season was identical to 2013 on a per snap basis — measured in Total EPA produced per snap — the best measure of actual QB production.

    #5 overall in 2013, #13 overall in 2014, #38 in 2015 — although Gabbert was #40, Andrew Luck #37, Flacco #39.

    in raw Total EPA (not per snap), #13 in 2014, #7 in 2013.

    and he balled out of control in the playoffs.

    maybe hiring a talk radio host as his QB coach and a joke as a head coach, and the worst OL in football made an impact on his 2015 performance???

  21. tennesseeoilers says: Jan 14, 2016 4:31 PM

    “Okay, Kap … The first thing you need to do is open your play book. It’s not poisonous. It doesn’t even bite.” ~ Chip Kelly

  22. jjackwagon says: Jan 14, 2016 4:31 PM

    Chip will probably trade Kaep for Cassel.

  23. GrantRodgers says: Jan 14, 2016 4:35 PM

    Of course Kaepernick is going to stay. Kelly was the logical hire (Baalke/York logic) because the Niners have a relatively cheap QB who’s taken them to within one play of winning a super bowl and one play from going to a second. Kelly was the only candidate who was licking his chops at the thought of working with Kaepernick.

    This way Baalke doesn’t have to spend the first round pick on a QB or take the blame if Kaep fails, because Kaep was a Harbaugh guy. Now he can use that first pick on a PK to replace aging Dawson.

  24. sactogary says: Jan 14, 2016 4:36 PM

    Bold prediction: the 49ers will win 9 or 10 games next season. Kelly’s offense works 10 times better with a running quarterback, and Kaepernick plays 10 times better when not being crammed into the pocket passer mold, which he does not fit.

    Pete Carroll has proven that the read option can be a winning offense in the NFL. Let’s see how it works with a better running QB than Russell Wilson.

  25. key2heat says: Jan 14, 2016 4:38 PM

    49er fans can began calling Chip Kelly a genius. HAHAHA

  26. thegr8rayfinkle says: Jan 14, 2016 4:41 PM

    “If” Kelly would have been smarter he would have stayed in college.

  27. dwhcic says: Jan 14, 2016 4:50 PM

    I think Kaep will run the offense better than anyone ever did in Philly. Will be interesting to see if it works out.

  28. cmoney4949 says: Jan 14, 2016 4:52 PM

    This is good for the team. Goff will be picked by the Browns so there isn’t another QB worth the 7th pick in the draft. Keep both Gabbert and Kap and use all the picks and $30 million in cap space to improve the O-Line and defense.

  29. mr1drful says: Jan 14, 2016 4:53 PM

    Could Mariota be headed to Niners? Future headlines

  30. collectordude says: Jan 14, 2016 4:53 PM

    kaepernick is not an NFL QB.
    Nuff said.

  31. purpleguy says: Jan 14, 2016 4:56 PM

    Hopefully Kelly can magically teach him to read and recognize defenses.

  32. 209insider says: Jan 14, 2016 5:04 PM

    QB Approach

    Kap: Retain this year

    Gab: Bring Back

    Draft: 2-5th round, Kevin Hogan Quality QB

    Have an open 3 man competition from day one.

    Kap had his best seasons when he had to beat out Alex Smith.

    Next season, if Kap did not work out , release him.

  33. hitit49 says: Jan 14, 2016 5:08 PM

    If the dog didn’t stop to take a $#!T he would have caught the Rabbit!

  34. kevo95 says: Jan 14, 2016 5:21 PM

    Poor Niners

  35. mikeed575 says: Jan 14, 2016 5:27 PM

    Kap with ball out! You Kap doubter better jump back on the wagon now!

  36. MichaelEdits says: Jan 14, 2016 5:32 PM

    Colin’s palms are sweaty
    Knees weak, arms are heavy
    There’s vomit on his sweater already
    Kelly’s smoothie

  37. clickablecontent says: Jan 14, 2016 5:33 PM

    One of the criticisms of Kaepernick is that he doesn’t study as much as he should, right? If that keeps up, how could he possibly handle running Chip Kelly’s uptempo offense on the field?

  38. fanofpft says: Jan 14, 2016 5:38 PM

    I guessed at this coming now that it is here. I guess Kap will last 1/2 the season before breaking down with the ramped up QB running Kelly will put in.

  39. omeimontis says: Jan 14, 2016 6:01 PM

    Looking back, Tomsula may have set Kap up for failure. Cutting Kap is not going to do anything for the 49ers because anybody that replaces him as starter will need to be paid a similar amount. Take for example Kirk Cousins. He is going to get paid big by the Redskins if he becomes their starting quarterback. Perhaps his contract will be comparable to Kap’s current contract. Considering the fact that Cousins hasn’t proven that he can win in the playoffs, Kap is a far better prospect than him.

  40. thegreatgabbert says: Jan 14, 2016 6:32 PM

    The clearance sale on Kaepernick jerseys is over, but you can now get them in 31 other team colors.

  41. 6250claimer says: Jan 14, 2016 6:37 PM

    If my aunt had a package, she’d be my uncle.

  42. killitandeatit says: Jan 14, 2016 6:42 PM

    Listen, the word on Kap is no. The main reason Harbaugh left was because he went all in on Kap ,traded Alex and then watched the offense stall out. Kap is not afraid of hard work but he has tried for several years to improve his ,reads,accuracy,foot work,release point,and to try to speed up his delivery. It hasn’t worked out too well so Kap will be traded if a suitable offer comes along.

  43. pantherpro says: Jan 14, 2016 6:54 PM

    Hey Seegsgs the rivalry is back on. I can taste it! Oh by the way lame 12th man …..,you are done Sunday!

  44. mcdall20 says: Jan 14, 2016 6:56 PM

    If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck……it’s a Niner! Good luck with Captain Culture

  45. drcap says: Jan 14, 2016 9:31 PM

    The Niners will be a dumpster fire. But at least they will be entertaining to watch this year. I bet a dollar that Gabbert will be the QB. Nextgen stats show him as one of the fastest players in the NFL. Also, Gabbert has better accuracy with his passes, and can read defenses.

  46. draftjunky says: Jan 14, 2016 10:45 PM

    I bet he’s signs Sam Bardford. Watch.

  47. 49erfan44 says: Jan 15, 2016 12:24 AM

    Kaepernick is done it’s all about Gabbert.

  48. sundaybutter says: Jan 15, 2016 2:19 AM

    sactogary says:
    Jan 14, 2016 4:36 PM

    … Kaepernick plays 10 times better when not being crammed into the pocket passer mold, which he does not fit.
    ….. Let’s see how it works with a better running QB than Russell Wilson.


    You are saying the Kaep is a better running QB than Russell Wilson? Okay fine…

  49. ecniner says: Jan 15, 2016 7:21 AM

    Not a Kap fan but let’s be honest, there’s a shortage of talent and he may be the best option short term…. Maybe long term if he can improve and draft pick can be groomed

  50. zampft says: Jan 15, 2016 10:55 AM

    I don’t think Kaep is a Kelly kind of guy off the field. RG3 much more his style.

  51. macklinr61 says: Jan 15, 2016 12:44 PM

    LaMichael James wants an invitation to practice with his old college coach…

  52. bigkjsanjo says: Jan 17, 2016 3:19 AM


    Maybe if they played rap during the film sessions Kaep would show up. Maybe if they let him take bong rips he’D stay in the film room.

    Maybe maybe maybe…

  53. charliecharger says: Jan 18, 2016 10:26 AM

    The 49ers really hit a home run with the Kelly hire. Maybe even a grand slam. He’s right up there with the Belichick’s and Saban’s of the coaching world. The 49ers already have the personnel responsibilities locked down, so Kelly can just coach. Kaepernick has already been to a super bowl and two NFC Championship games. He’s a proven winner. Kelly isn’t going to come in here and force any kind of specific scheme onto these guys, he’ll figure out what works. If you watched Sam Bradford and Nick Foles playing under Kelly in Philly, it was quite a bit different than Mariota at Oregon. The media has been way off on anything regarding Chip Kelly, except for 3 years ago when he was the hottest name in coaching. He’s still the same guy, just a little more experienced now. Look at all four coaches that are left in the playoffs this year. They’re all retreads.

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