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Chip Kelly: “Football decision” only to start Colin Kaepernick

SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 06:  Head coach Chip Kelly of the San Francisco 49ers looks on from the sidelines during their NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on October 6, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Getty Images

On Monday, 49ers coach Chip Kelly said that quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s contract would not factor into the team’s decision about who will start at quarterback against the Bills this Sunday.

That didn’t stop a question about Kaepernick’s contract from being asked when Kelly announced that Kaepernick will get the start. Word last week was that the 49ers were talking to Kaepernick about a restructured contract that would remove injury guarantees from his $14.5 million salary for next season, something that would seem to make it likelier that they’d play him ahead of Blaine Gabbert. Kelly reiterated that football was the only reason the move was being made now.

“I don’t deal with contracts,” Kelly said. “It’s got nothing to do with his contract. Football decision. I’ve never discussed his contract nor will I ever discuss his contract.”

Kelly said that he made the announcement now to give Kaepernick as much time as possible with the first team during practice this week. Gabbert will move to the No. 2 spot and Christian Ponder remains the third-string quarterback for an offense that Kelly said needs to improve beyond the quarterback position.

“We’ve had a couple of days to digest everything from where we are, and I think offensively we need to be better and just make a move,” Kelly said. “It’s not Blaine’s fault. I think as a group, offensively, we need to be better in a lot of ways.”

Better quarterback play can help lift other spots, although it remains to be seen whether Kaepernick can provide it almost a year after he last started an NFL game.

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63 Responses to “Chip Kelly: “Football decision” only to start Colin Kaepernick”
  1. sportmigos says: Oct 11, 2016 2:19 PM

    ppl forget this is chips 1st amendment right

  2. leroyquimby says: Oct 11, 2016 2:23 PM

    “Chip Kelly: “Football decision”

    LSU or USC

  3. sundog05 says: Oct 11, 2016 2:24 PM

    I hope the right guard and tackle do the right thing and take a dive on a few plays.

  4. logicalvoicesays says: Oct 11, 2016 2:24 PM

    A starting QB in the NFL is going to jneeldown during the National Anthem. Righteous! Welcome to America LAND OF THE FREE!!!

  5. tindeaux says: Oct 11, 2016 2:24 PM

    oh no……….. the guy who disrepects our flag gets to play????
    not good.

  6. saltineamerican says: Oct 11, 2016 2:26 PM

    He went from “physically not being in shape to play” to the starter in one week? Something doesn’t smell right.

  7. bert1913 says: Oct 11, 2016 2:27 PM

    Santa Clara will not be winning their first superbowl in a long time

  8. trailerparkking says: Oct 11, 2016 2:28 PM

    I will be boycotting ALL 49ers games. I just can’t patronize a franchise that allows their QB to oppress decent, hard working caucasians, disrespects the liberty and freedom our armed forces protect, and that uses social issues to gain attention. You reap what you sow, NFL.

  9. hawksfansince77 says: Oct 11, 2016 2:28 PM

    For Kaps sake….hope he doesn’t travel to some hard core, blue collar, flag lovin’ town this week like Buffalo…..er. Yeah, good luck with that Kappy!

  10. fumblenuts says: Oct 11, 2016 2:29 PM

    Richard Sherman will pick him off all day…….

  11. athwartships says: Oct 11, 2016 2:30 PM

    When you suck as a pro coach and your season is circling the drain, of course you start throwing anything you have at it hoping something sticks.

    The sad part is, they will probably win a game or two or maybe more with Kap under center, but putting him in does not even come close to curing what ails them.

    Couldn’t happen to a better franchise.

  12. polegojim says: Oct 11, 2016 2:32 PM

    And is the RIGHT football decision.

    Harbaugh found the way to get the very best from Kap and he performed at a very good level at that time.

    Chip may want to place a call to Jim for some tips.

  13. maust1013 says: Oct 11, 2016 2:32 PM

    Nothing disingenuous there. Contracts have been part of football decisions for some time now too.

  14. tacowrecker says: Oct 11, 2016 2:33 PM

    Few weeks gonna be a football decision to start Ponder, too

  15. I_Just_Like_Typing_Comments_That_Wont_Get_Published says: Oct 11, 2016 2:37 PM

    saltineamerican says:
    Oct 11, 2016 2:26 PM

    He went from “physically not being in shape to play” to the starter in one week? Something doesn’t smell right.
    ===================

    It smells a lot like, “Hey Kap, if you rework your contract to protect the team in case of injury, you’ll find yourself atop the depth chart”

    “Nah, I’ll keep my contract the way it is” – Kap

    “He is physically unable to play right now, he isn’t in shape to play” – Chip

    “Ok, I’ll rework my contract” – Kap

    “Kap is our starting QB starting today” -Chip

  16. packsupersoldier says: Oct 11, 2016 2:39 PM

    His favorite play? The kneel down.

  17. liftheavyorliftheavy says: Oct 11, 2016 2:40 PM

    fumblenuts says:
    Oct 11, 2016 2:29 PM

    Richard Sherman will pick him off all day…….

    ————

    San Fran plays Buffalo this week … they don’t play Seattle again until Jan.

  18. yourunclerico says: Oct 11, 2016 2:42 PM

    hes lucky they arent playing the donkey headhunters. it would be the ONLY time i would root for one of those cheap shots they like to deliver.

  19. tristenthechiefsfan says: Oct 11, 2016 2:46 PM

    I will not be watching this game!!!

  20. collectordude says: Oct 11, 2016 2:51 PM

    Kaepernick will do worse than Gzbbert.

  21. snapcracklepopfart says: Oct 11, 2016 2:52 PM

    “A starting QB in the NFL is going to jneeldown during the National Anthem. Righteous! Welcome to America LAND OF THE FREE!!!”

    The fact that this is the land of the free IS THE REASON he can kneel down if he wants to.

    If that offends you, perhaps you’d find North Korea fits your values more than the USA does.

  22. jssebastian2014 says: Oct 11, 2016 2:53 PM

    He should be glad they’re not playing the Steelers this year. James Harrison would show ol’ Noodle Arm what patriotic turf tastes like.

  23. clashpoint says: Oct 11, 2016 2:54 PM

    Well sure it’s a football decision – and running the salary cap is an integral element in putting together a good football team. Which they’ve not done recently.

    If Kelly fails out here, he better not get another chance any time soon. I swear, him, Fisher, Whisenhunt and huge bunch of other guys are overwhelmingly evidence of the need for the Rooney rule, the best guys are clearly not getting enough chances.

    Guys like Fisher get handed the house no matter how far below average they’ve done their jobs. Guys like Mike Tomlin get crap despite being the 9th highest winning percentage in NFL history. The trolls act like of happens all the time! No. It’s only happen nine times in the history of the NFL. The math says that’s special and I don’t care who you are.

  24. pastabelly says: Oct 11, 2016 2:55 PM

    How is the contract NOT part of the decision? If he really believes that, then he should be fired and is a poor manager. An injury this year that triggers a guarantee of $14.5 million in cash and major salary cap hit in 2017 impacts 2017 after an already disastrous 2016. If Kaepernick plays and gets hurt, it only proves that all of them deserve each other.

  25. dkeucd says: Oct 11, 2016 2:55 PM

    Cowboy fan here. I happily name the Buffalo Bills “America’s Team” for this week. Go Bills!

  26. gregerss says: Oct 11, 2016 2:56 PM

    trailerparkking says:
    Oct 11, 2016 2:28 PM

    I will be boycotting ALL 49ers games. I just can’t patronize a franchise that allows their QB to oppress decent, hard working caucasians, disrespects the liberty and freedom our armed forces protect, and that uses social issues to gain attention. You reap what you sow, NFL.
    ———————————————————-
    You’re joking, right? lol

  27. willycents says: Oct 11, 2016 2:58 PM

    Hey, Rex, want an easy win over the 9ers?

    All you have to do is start the Star Spangled Banner seconds before the snap and Kaep will kneel down, or, just play it when the 9ers are on offense and Kaep will get delay of game penalties because he will be kneeling for 3 minutes every play.

  28. tacowrecker says: Oct 11, 2016 3:01 PM

    Chip looks a bit like Toad of Toad Hall

  29. blowpackblow says: Oct 11, 2016 3:03 PM

    Hope his O line “takes a knee” to protest.

  30. mball13 says: Oct 11, 2016 3:05 PM

    Its not Blaine’s fault but he’s getting blamed more or less

  31. damcmp says: Oct 11, 2016 3:06 PM

    BS it was a major part of the decision who do they think they are talking to children???? a lot of these people are idiots

  32. trailerparkking says: Oct 11, 2016 3:06 PM

    You’re joking, right? lol
    ___________
    Partially. I was mocking the oppression angle because under true oppression protesting isn’t an option. So if we’re going to toss around ridiculous notions of what oppression is then I will do the same to illustrate the idiocy if Kap’s statements. I wasn’t joking about the boycotting, I refuse to contribute to NFL ratings while Kap is on the screen. And its pretty obvious Kap is exploiting a social issue for attention. I may not agree with what Isaiah Crowell said but I respect the fact that he took responsibility and took action. Kap has done nothing to help the situation or solve the problem, he’s just being divisive for attention.

  33. politiciansareallthesame says: Oct 11, 2016 3:11 PM

    This is the ONLY decision. Kaps the only QB on the team whos had any moderate success in this league.

  34. scrappler says: Oct 11, 2016 3:12 PM

    everyone needs to shut it and trust him. chip has a great track record on “football decisions”.

    cutting desean jackson was a football decision
    trading lesean mccoy for (vomit) kiko alonzo off an ACL was a football decision
    breaking the bank for byron maxwell was a football decision
    breaking the bank for demarco murray was a football decision
    starting gabbert in the first place was a football decision

    the green smoothies were not a football decision. just an unappetizing one.

  35. todd6162 says: Oct 11, 2016 3:13 PM

    This is the game all branches of the Armed Forces should sing the national anthem. It would be so appropriate

  36. thermalito says: Oct 11, 2016 3:16 PM

    Lifelong 49ers fan but this Sunday I say Go Bills! The fact this lowlife is now the face of the 49ers franchise is a disgrace.

  37. snapcracklepopfart says: Oct 11, 2016 3:17 PM

    “Kap has done nothing to help the situation or solve the problem, he’s just being divisive for attention.”

    Calling attention to a problem is the first step toward solving it. We still have people denying that there is a problem with policing today.

  38. snapcracklepopfart says: Oct 11, 2016 3:18 PM

    This is all the NFL’s fault for wrapping itself in the flag to begin with.

    If they weren’t determined to be the most patriotic, nationalistic, pro military PRIVATE CORPORATION in the country, they wouldn’t have any problems when political issues arise.

  39. gregerss says: Oct 11, 2016 3:19 PM

    trailerparkking says:
    Oct 11, 2016 3:06 PM

    Partially. I was mocking the oppression angle because under true oppression protesting isn’t an option. So if we’re going to toss around ridiculous notions of what oppression is then I will do the same to illustrate the idiocy if Kap’s statements. I wasn’t joking about the boycotting, I refuse to contribute to NFL ratings while Kap is on the screen. And its pretty obvious Kap is exploiting a social issue for attention. I may not agree with what Isaiah Crowell said but I respect the fact that he took responsibility and took action. Kap has done nothing to help the situation or solve the problem, he’s just being divisive for attention.
    ———————————————————-
    How do you know the Colin was looking for attention? Did he tell you personally or are you assuming? What action does Kaep need to take responsibility for? He didn’t break any laws or make any sort of threat towards law enforcement.

    So many people have taken what Kaep said and made it about something else. Veterans have been getting screwed over by this country for a long time, but people only want to get up in arms and defend vets after Kaep protests? That’s a crock.

    When black people rioted after Ferguson, so many people came out against rioting and said that people should protest peacefully. He’s doing that, yet it’s still an issue. Rioting is only okay when white people do it after their team wins or lose a championship though, right?

    Not at all trying to be combative, just trying to give a different perspective.

  40. gregerss says: Oct 11, 2016 3:22 PM

    So many people are up in arms about Kaep “offending” veterans by exercising a right they fought for, but aren’t up in arms about the NFL being paid to show patriotism, when that should be the standard without being paid? That doesn’t add up…

  41. mmack66 says: Oct 11, 2016 3:23 PM

    trailerparkking says:
    Oct 11, 2016 2:28 PM

    I will be boycotting ALL 49ers games. I just can’t patronize a franchise that allows their QB to oppress decent, hard working caucasians, disrespects the liberty and freedom our armed forces protect, and that uses social issues to gain attention. You reap what you sow, NFL.
    ———————–

    But you’re good with your team having a rapist, and a dog killing felon at the quarterback position. Lol.

  42. edelmanfanclub says: Oct 11, 2016 3:39 PM

    I love him reiterating that he doesnt deal with contracts.

    “Did someone say contract? I dont know what that even is? I am a coach!”- CK

    We get it Chip you are awful with personnel, but an okay coach and offense mind although he overthinks himself constantly. Let’s see how Kaep does in his system.

  43. thetooloftools says: Oct 11, 2016 4:44 PM

    So once he goes out there and plays as badly as he did before then San Fran will know what they have and he will be waived next off season.

  44. thermalito says: Oct 11, 2016 4:46 PM

    mmack66: who is the rapist? Is Michael Vick even in the league any longer? Guys having personal troubles is not the same as using the team and the league to make a disgusting political statement more than half of the NFL viewing public vehemently disagree with. I will boycott any game Kaepernick plays and root against the 49ers despite following the team for more than 30 years

  45. tonebones says: Oct 11, 2016 4:51 PM

    The 49ers are finally worth watching

  46. alphabeta49er says: Oct 11, 2016 4:53 PM

    The Seattle fans in these comments today. Get over it. Nothing to see here anymore. You’d be better off playing the Raiders twice a year.

  47. Lemmy Aksyadis says: Oct 11, 2016 4:58 PM

    snapcracklepopfart says:
    Oct 11, 2016 2:52 PM
    “A starting QB in the NFL is going to jneeldown during the National Anthem. Righteous! Welcome to America LAND OF THE FREE!!!”

    The fact that this is the land of the free IS THE REASON he can kneel down if he wants to.

    Really, it’s your right to kneel at work and use your employer’s time for misguided political statements?

    That’s got zippo to do with the 1st amendment.

    All he’s doing is pissing on those who gave their lives. Yes, it’s his right and I applaud him for showing us all his lack of character.

  48. purehyped says: Oct 11, 2016 5:01 PM

    so maybe when he plays in Buffalo this week, the Bills need to start playing the national Anthem every time Kap drops back to pass…

  49. Lemmy Aksyadis says: Oct 11, 2016 5:02 PM

    gregerss says:
    Oct 11, 2016 3:19 PM

    When black people rioted after Ferguson, so many people came out against rioting and said that people should protest peacefully. He’s doing that, yet it’s still an issue. Rioting is only okay when white people do it after their team wins or lose a championship though, right?

    Egad,

    this is a straw man. NO ONE is saying it’s OK for white people or any people to riot about games. It’s a stupid assertion. FYI, there’s a few black folks in those riots, or did you think that there are no black NBA fans in Detroit or Chicago?

  50. ehsguy72 says: Oct 11, 2016 5:30 PM

    trailerparkking says:
    Oct 11, 2016 2:28 PM

    I will be boycotting ALL 49ers games. I just can’t patronize a franchise that allows their QB to oppress decent, hard working caucasians

    ________________________________________

    Because obviously in your pathetic world it’s OK to oppress decent, hard working african-americans. Not to worry, I’m sure the franchise will be just fine without your ignorant a@@ at the games

  51. thegreatgabbert says: Oct 11, 2016 5:30 PM

    I think the short fat man is trying to distract attention from himself. The Eagles have been 100% better under new management, and his QB from last season, Sam Bradford, is having 100% more success in a new system. Last season Bradford’s numbers were about the same as Gabbert’s in San Fran, what changed?

  52. trailerparkking says: Oct 11, 2016 5:46 PM

    Hey look, a fan of a team that employed a convicted murderer and are convicted serial cheaters is trying to take moral high ground. How cute!

  53. trailerparkking says: Oct 11, 2016 5:52 PM

    We have an African American President and African American Attorney General. I’m being called ignorant by someone who doesn’t even know the meaning of oppression. Is there racial tension and racial profiling? Of course, but let’s end this oppression crap right now. You want a discussion? I’m all ears. You want to disrespect people and use false narratives about oppression? Goodbye.

  54. justsayin70 says: Oct 11, 2016 5:54 PM

    Won’t watch any game this clown plays in.

  55. sopadegato says: Oct 11, 2016 7:00 PM

    As a Houstonian who remembers The Comeback, pulling for Buffalo is pretty damned hard, but damned if I’m not pulling for them this Sunday. Go Bills!

    Also, can you say “record low ratings”?

  56. jackedupboonie says: Oct 11, 2016 8:08 PM

    I won’t watch. I will walk out of any establishment that shows his game.

  57. jackedupboonie says: Oct 11, 2016 8:10 PM

    I just picked the Bills.

  58. jackedupboonie says: Oct 11, 2016 8:14 PM

    all of America hates the Clara dingbats.

  59. ReligionIsForIdiots says: Oct 11, 2016 8:37 PM

    sundog05 says:
    Oct 11, 2016 2:24 PM
    I hope the right guard and tackle do the right thing and take a dive on a few plays.
    ———

    I hope you go play in traffic.

  60. charger383 says: Oct 11, 2016 11:32 PM

    Rule against roughing the passer should be suspended for this game

  61. charger383 says: Oct 11, 2016 11:37 PM

    If Rex and Rob Ryan can coach a very aggressive and hard hitting defense I would be very happy

  62. snapcracklepopfart says: Oct 12, 2016 3:47 PM

    “Really, it’s your right to kneel at work and use your employer’s time for misguided political statements?

    That’s got zippo to do with the 1st amendment.”

    Actually that has EVERYTHING to do with the first ammendment.

    If your employer is forcing you to make a political statement by engaging in nationalistic military worship, you have the right to refuse.

    This aint North Korea.

  63. snapcracklepopfart says: Oct 12, 2016 3:50 PM

    “Of course, but let’s end this oppression crap right now. ”

    Sure. Because if YOU weren’t oppressed, then that means NO ONE was.

    You’re the center of the universe after all.

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