Maybe 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick eventually will tell his current team that he wants to stick around, after all.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee recently took a comprehensive look at the various moving parts on a possible Kaepernick trade, and Barrows reports that Kaepernick has become less willing to cut his pay in order to secure a ticket to Cleveland.
“Kaepernick is willing to restructure his contract and take less money to get out of San Francisco,” Barrows writes. “But after getting sacked 80 times in the last 1-1/2 seasons and having three surgeries since December, he’s wary of taking a lower-money deal on a bad team that is losing talent and that may also use its first-round pick, No. 2 overall, on a quarterback.”
Kaepernick should be wary. His trumped-up contract that was sold as a rim-rocking deal two years ago has melted into a middle-of-the-pack-or-worse arrangement, with a base salary of $11.9 million this year, $14.5 million in 2017, and $15 million in 2018. Another $2 million each year is tied to per-game roster bonuses, an amount that is hardly a layup given the extent to which Kaepernick, who turns 29 this year, is racking up wear and tear.
So with 19 quarterbacks already doing better than Kaepernick and more ready to leapfrog him every year, why should he take less than what he’s currently due to make? If he’s going to take less, he should do it on the open market, with a team that doesn’t have to give up a draft pick to get him.
Kaepernick proudly did a team-friendly deal two years ago to give the 49ers the ability to use other dollars in order to get better. The 49ers have gotten worse, and Kaepernick should be slow to trust any team that tries to get him to take even less with a promise that the savings will be immediately re-invested in helping his next team be as competitive as the 49ers in 2012 and 2013, which feels like it was a lot longer ago as to Kaepernick than it actually was.