The future of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was in question from the moment he was benched midseason. But with the hiring of coach Chip Kelly, owner Jed York said he’s leaving the possibility of his former starter reclaiming the job, and potentially flourishing.
During his Thursday appearance on The Rich Eisen Show, York said that decision would be up to Kelly and not him, downplaying the economic factors.
“I think the nice thing is we have the third-most salary cap room in the league, and everybody wants to make a big issue of, ‘Well, you need to make a decision on Colin.’ Et cetera, et cetera,” York said, via CSNBayArea.com. “We want Colin to get back healthy as soon as possible. We want to make sure that he’s able to take the field whenever he’s available.
“And we’ve all seen what Colin can do. Taking us to a Super Bowl, an NFC Championship game the year after. He’s had a great career here. Obviously last year wasn’t a great year for any of us in red and gold. And I think Chip is going to be a great addition, not just for Kap, but for the rest of the team. I’m excited to see where it goes.”
Asked specifically if Kaepernick could regain the starting job once he’s recovered from thumb and knee surgeries, York was open to the possibility.
“There’s no question in my mind,” he said. “I’ve always had a very, very high opinion of Kap. Kap’s a great kid, he’s done a lot of great things for us. And again, this is a fresh start for everybody.”
Beating out Blaine Gabbert for his old job shouldn’t be difficult, and many think Kaepernick is well-suited to run the kind of offense Kelly will be implementing. And considering the fact he’s not exactly expensive, the “fresh start” might be all Kaepernick needs.