The 49ers must decide whether to keep or unload quarterback Colin Kaepernick by April 1. In the coming days, both player and team could be getting a better idea of what each side wants.
Via Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, the 49ers and Kaepernick’s agents will meet in Indianapolis this week, in connection with the annual Scouting Combine. It’s not a surprise, given that pretty much every team meets with pretty much every agent at the Combine, since the teams are there to scout players and the agents are there for their annual NFLPA meeting — and to hold premature, tampering talks with teams about impending free agents.
For this team, the question is whether the 49ers want Kaepernick back at a compensation package of $12 million, a reasonable, middle-of-the-road quarterback number. For Kaepernick, the question is whether he wants to return. His decision to have three surgeries this offseason with his own doctors and not the team’s doctors has created the impression that Kaepernick is ready to move on.
Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, who heard from new coach Chip Kelly not long after Kelly got the job, told PFT Live during Super Bowl week that Lott would tell Kaepernick: (1) you’re under contract; (2) you’re staying put; and (3) we’re going to make you great. Still, it’s critical that any starting quarterback be all in with the program; the quarterback is an extension of the coaching staff in the locker room, showing up early and staying late and watching extra film and doing all the stuff that sets a clear example for the rest of the roster. If Kaepernick wants out, and if in turn he decides to do the bare minimum, that won’t be good for anybody.
That said, Kaepernick (like most players) sure has too much pride to pout and malinger, since doing the bare minimum will impact his performance. However it all works out, the process of working it all out commences this week in earnest. In Indy.