The 49ers are poised to keep quarterback Colin Kaepernick through Friday, when his 2016 salary becomes guaranteed.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that Kaepernick is staying in San Francisco unless the 49ers are “blown away” with a trade offer. Spoiler alert: No one is going to “blow away” the 49ers with a trade offer for a quarterback who’s coming off a season in which he was benched for Blaine Gabbert. Kaepernick is staying put.
As PFT reported on Sunday, cutting Kaepernick before his salary becomes guaranteed on Sunday isn’t really an option for the 49ers. Kaepernick is still recovering from multiple surgeries, and if the 49ers were to cut him now, while he’s not yet 100 percent healed, he and the NFL Players Association would argue that the 49ers were on the hook for his salary.
The 49ers appear OK with keeping Kaepernick, as G.M. Trent Baalke and coach Chip Kelly have both said they like the idea of bringing him back and letting him compete with Gabbert for the starting job. Baalke remembers well that it was only three years ago that Kaepernick led the 49ers to the Super Bowl, and Kelly likes the possibilities of an athlete like Kaepernick running his offense, so it makes sense that they’d want to keep him.
So while there’s been plenty of talk about Kaepernick and the 49ers going their separate ways, that appears unlikely. From all indications, the 49ers are ready to pay Kaepernick his $11.9 million base salary, his $1.125 million roster bonus and his $400,000 offseason workout bonus, and to keep him on the roster this season.