The 49ers are giving Colin Kaepernick another year to prove he’s their franchise quarterback.
San Francisco General Manager Trent Baalke told reporters today at the Scouting Combine that Kaepernick will remain on the 49ers’ roster through April 1, when his $12 million salary for 2016 becomes guaranteed. Baalke said Kaepernick will compete with the quarterback he was benched for last year, Blaine Gabbert.
New coach Chip Kelly hasn’t said much about his plans at the quarterback position, but Kaepernick’s skills as both a runner and a passer could make him a good fit in Kelly’s offense. Baalke’s comments today are the strongest sign yet that the 49ers think the Kelly-Kaepernick paring could work.
Kaepernick is coming off a rough season and three surgeries, but he has shown a great deal of promise during his brief time as an NFL starter. The 49ers think he still has the potential to be great, and it’s Kelly’s job to make the most of Kaepernick’s potential.