49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s $11.9 million base salary for 2016 officially is guaranteed. Unofficially, the Broncos remain interested in trading for him.
Mike Klis of 9News.com reports that the defending Super Bowl champions have an ongoing interest in Kaepernick. Per Klis, G.M. John Elway knew that the 49ers wouldn’t be cutting Kaepernick before the salary guaranteed vested as of 4:00 p.m. ET on Thursday. (Elway also possibly realized that Kaepernick couldn’t be cut before the April 1 trigger because he apparently isn’t healthy.)
The Broncos would want Kaepernick to reduce his compensation package to facilitate a trade. Failing that, Denver would look for the 49ers to pay some of the salary.
Much of the final outcome depends on whether Kaepernick changes his mind about playing in San Francisco, and whether the 49ers truly want him around. Unless both sides embrace the possibility of making the most out of Kaepernick’s talents with coach Chip Kelly running the team, a divorce seems inevitable; the only questions are when it would happen, how much another team would give up to get him, and how Kaepernick’s contract would be adjusted.