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John Lynch: 49ers would have cut Kaepernick if he hadn’t opted out

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One of the popular narratives regarding Colin Kaepernick’s lingering unemployment is that he has only himself to blame after opting out of his 49ers contract. This flawed assumption overlooks the fact that the 49ers would have cut Kaepernick if he hadn’t opted out.

“HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT?!?!?” some of you have said in response. Here’s how. 49ers G.M. John Lynch said so on Wednesday, in a PFT Live interview to be aired later this week.

“Yes,” Lynch said regarding whether Kaepernick would have been cut if he hadn’t opted out, “and we had that conversation with him. So I don’t want to characterize it as he made a decision to leave here. We both sat down and under that current construct of his deal, it was a big number. [Coach] Kyle [Shanahan] had a vision for what he wanted to do, and one thing I think Kyle was very clear and I think Colin appreciated, is that Kyle has an idea of how he’d play with Colin Kaepernick. But he preferred to run the exact offense that he ran in Atlanta last year that was record-breaking in this league. And if you change it for the quarterback, you change it for everybody on that offense.  So he had a great discussion that I think gave Colin clarity, so we moved on. Brian Hoyer was one of the guys we pursued. Once we pursued him, we didn’t see Kaep as a backup that would really fit in that scheme and we communicated that to him. So I think we’ve been very up front with it. But I think that is a fair characterization.  Yes, he was not going to be here under the construct of his contract.  We gave him the option, ‘You can opt out, we can release you, whatever.’ And he chose to opt out, but that was just a formality.”

Lynch also addressed the perception/accusation that the 49ers have been spreading negative information about Kaepernick, pointing to the decision to invite Peter King of into the team’s draft room.

“Part of the narrative that was created — you know how it works, headlines coming out of quotes — was that Colin didn’t have an interest playing football,” Lynch said in reference to a claim from King citing unnamed 49ers sources regarding whether Kaepernick is fully committed to his craft. “I feel like that’s part of my job is controlling what comes out of this building, and to the extent that there was a perception that we were contributing to that Colin didn’t want to play football, we wanted to put an end to that.

“I’ve talked with Colin and I’ve told him that I felt bad that if indeed that is contributing to that thought.  The one thing that I knew from sitting with Colin when we had our opportunity to sit down and he ultimately opted out, we had a great discussion that stuck out with me that this is a guy who is really interested in getting back in this league and playing at the highest level.  And I’ve talked to him since, and that very much is the case.”

Lynch punctuated his explanation with an apology to Kaepernick, and a reiteration of the perception that Kaepernick wants to play.

“I want to put that to rest,” Lynch said. “I’m sorry that this came out of this building.  That’s one of the challenges that I’m finding is controlling the message that comes out of your building. There’s so many people, and it’s hard to find because, ‘Sources this, sources that.’ I didn’t feel good about that and I’ve talked to Colin.  That was what was most important to me, to talk to Colin directly and let him know that I was sorry that that did [come out] and that nothing else like that will come out of this building if I have anything to do with it.  That’s where that is.  We wish Colin the best and I can tell everybody out there he very much is sincere in his interest to get back in this league, and I hope it works out for him.”

The full 24-minute discussion with Lynch will eventually be posted here. Much of it will be aired on Friday, as part of the three-hour weekday PFT Live show.

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50 Responses to “John Lynch: 49ers would have cut Kaepernick if he hadn’t opted out”
  1. redandgoldhitman52 says: May 31, 2017 3:05 PM

    Krapernick used his kneel to not get cut during the season after losing ten games in a row. He was already the worst qb last year getting benched for gabbert. He’s beyond awful. He’s a rb trying to play qb and it’s ugly to watch. I’d be embarrassed if I was krapernick trying to act like a qb.

  2. bkostela says: May 31, 2017 3:10 PM

    “we didn’t see Kaep as a backup that would really fit in that scheme”

    This exact quote can be used for 90% of the teams in the NFL.

    Kaep’s situation is not about whether he broke up with SF or he was forced to break up with SF, it’s about him having a very limited skillset and a very large amount of baggage.

  3. haywoodjablomey says: May 31, 2017 3:10 PM

    But, what about patriotism?

  4. nhpats says: May 31, 2017 3:11 PM

    This just in…..Seattle is still not planing to sign Colin Kaepernick

  5. spartanlegend says: May 31, 2017 3:14 PM

    This is obvious to anyone with a brain. I always get a laugh when I read comments from the geniuses who say it’s his fault he doesn’t have a job because he opted out of his contract. They obviously have no understanding of the situation

  6. theright0pinion says: May 31, 2017 3:17 PM

    Distraction > Talent = No Job

  7. bringbackkosar says: May 31, 2017 3:18 PM

    can we please beat this dead horse some more

  8. screamingyellowzonkers says: May 31, 2017 3:20 PM

    Well, its about time.

    We haven’t seen a Kap story for hours.

  9. ihavenoeyedeer says: May 31, 2017 3:20 PM

    It’s your daily “over”dose of Colin Kaepernick

  10. omeimontis says: May 31, 2017 3:23 PM

    LOL, Hoyer is not going to lead the league in offense.

  11. butlers91 says: May 31, 2017 3:25 PM

    OMG, please let go of this Kaepernick obsession.

  12. omeimontis says: May 31, 2017 3:26 PM

    Atlanta had great offense with Matt Ryan, HOF TE Tony Gonzalez and WR Julio Jones even before Kyle Shanahan arrived. Their problem was defense, or lack thereof.

  13. omeimontis says: May 31, 2017 3:32 PM

    Tomorrow is THE day, when Tony Romo is officially released by the Cowpies. We will know whether he will come out of retirement after that day. Then we will see if teams who may be waiting for Romo will give Kap a call or not if Romo is not available.

  14. LakefrontLegend says: May 31, 2017 3:34 PM

    spartanlegend says:

    May 31, 2017 3:14 PM
    This is obvious to anyone with a brain. I always get a laugh when I read comments from the geniuses who say it’s his fault he doesn’t have a job because he opted out of his contract. They obviously have no understanding of the situation
    It’s just another straw man argument by those too scared to out themselves for who they really are. The same people complaining about everything being so PC are the first ones that need their safe space once a black guy silently kneels. Funny how that works.

  15. omeimontis says: May 31, 2017 3:35 PM

    CBS has not fired Phil Simms, which means Tony Romo may have the option to play football under his current contract with CBS, and so they may go back to Simms if that happens.

  16. kneedragr says: May 31, 2017 3:36 PM

    Lynch is doing a good job at damage control here but Im not sure talking about Kap even a little bit is actually better than just saying nothing. This story just needs to fade away, no need to say anything but ‘no comment’.

  17. jacksquat99 says: May 31, 2017 3:44 PM

    All of the people claiming that Kaepernick “should” be on a roster because he is one of the best 96 QB’s are the same ones that were wanging about Tim Tebow when his supporters were saying the same. Both may have been good enough to make a roster. But, both were also not good enough to overcome the headaches they brought with them. Simple as that.

  18. friscokid49 says: May 31, 2017 3:49 PM

    Respect for Lynch in being direct and putting false narratives to rest.

    Also, at least he faces problems head on unlike his predecessor.

  19. omeimontis says: May 31, 2017 3:56 PM

    In the end it really didn’t matter whether Lynch was going to cut Kap or not, because Kap made up his mind last season that he was going to leave the organization, for whatever reason we do not know. He renegotiated his contract so that he can opt out. Only he knows why. It is time for everyone, including Kap, the 49ers organization and 49ers fans, to move on.

  20. silverandblack052099 says: May 31, 2017 4:10 PM

    And it would have been ability as the reason he would have been cut, not because of any protest, so we can put that false narrative to bed now.

  21. collectordude says: May 31, 2017 4:15 PM

    Good. I expected as such from the Niners.

  22. weepingjebus says: May 31, 2017 4:15 PM

    Like so many others on the west coast, Kaepernick is mad that he lost but still not quite ready to move to the paradise of Canada.

  23. illmatic8582 says: May 31, 2017 4:21 PM

    I think Kaep will eventually be on the right side of history when all is said and done. He is this gen’s version of Ali. Hopefully will have a school and or library named after him. A true American hero. Sorry blue lives matter, but it’s true.

  24. metalup666 says: May 31, 2017 4:23 PM

    The kneeling thing is obviously going to be brought up and I am sure that there are a number of owners that did take offense to said kneeling or the baggage that such a stance could bring. But, with the limited skill set that Kaepernick brings to the table, the kneeling might have been the icing on the cake, instead of the main reason he hasn’t been picked up yet. IMO

  25. fwippel says: May 31, 2017 4:24 PM

    Thanks for reiterating what common sense told us long ago. No NFL team can afford to make that kind of financial commitment to a backup QB.

  26. jimbobcooterqbtutor says: May 31, 2017 4:39 PM

    Well duh, now we can stop with the comments “the dumbest thing is he opted out of his contract!!!” with 19 upvotes to zero downvotes.

    It was soooooo obvious. It’s a new organization and they were starting over. That usually entails starting with a new QB, especially if he’s controversial and sux to boot and is paid way too much.

  27. skoobyfl says: May 31, 2017 4:40 PM

    Can we have like 5 more stories on a player who ate his way out of playing shape (too skinny) & acted in way to be avoided (not criminally) to be an NFL player ??

    No one cares about him, no one and he isn’t going to play again in the NFL.

  28. redandgoldhitman52 says: May 31, 2017 4:45 PM

    Alex Smith was a joke with the niners but krapernick is 100 times worse. Krapernick makes Alex Smith look like a hall of famer.

  29. moweejim says: May 31, 2017 5:08 PM

    ”leaks” from the 9’ers were always from the Top (York or Parath) to suite their own needs. Lynch is not going to be able to stop those leaks because it’s above his pay grade. Lynch has shown class with this thoughts opposing such “leaks” but his front office personnel lack such character traits.

  30. genericcommenter says: May 31, 2017 5:23 PM

    This was obvious to everyone except for a few commentators here who think people who personally benefit from millions of dollars in welfare are fiscal conservatives.

  31. kemp13 says: May 31, 2017 5:23 PM

    Lynch and Shanahan are going to be shocked – SHOCKED – when they realize that the incredible offense “he” ran in Atlanta was incredible because of Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and the rest of the talent on that roster, NOT because of Shanahan’s “scheme.”

  32. Fog says: May 31, 2017 5:34 PM

    OMG, Kaep doesnt have a team? When did this happen?

  33. bobgust says: May 31, 2017 5:39 PM

    Lynch and Shanahan are going to be shocked – SHOCKED – when they realize that the incredible offense “he” ran in Atlanta was incredible because of Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and the rest of the talent on that roster, NOT because of Shanahan’s “scheme.”

    LOL, you don’t think they know that they need good players for the offense to function? That is why Kaepernick and all the other QBs from last year are gone. Not that who they acquired are the answer but they aren’t going to get the personnel issues fixed in a few months.

  34. bobgust says: May 31, 2017 5:41 PM

    Lynch and Shanahan are going to be shocked – SHOCKED – when they realize that the incredible offense “he” ran in Atlanta was incredible because of Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and the rest of the talent on that roster, NOT because of Shanahan’s “scheme.”


    LOL, you don’t think they already know they need better personnel? They aren’t going to be able to fix all the team’s personnel issues in a few months.

  35. bobgust says: May 31, 2017 5:43 PM

    Kaepernick is best suited for the read option. He doesn’t fit what Shanahan wants to do on offense and that is why he was never going to be on this team. Every other QB that was on this roster last year is gone too.

  36. vinzclorth0 says: May 31, 2017 5:45 PM

    Kaepernick has himself to blame for:

    1) Making a poorly reasoned, offensive stand against the US (and supporting communists), and

    2) Stinking it up as a player.

  37. saltineamerican says: May 31, 2017 6:00 PM

    The “The Kaepernick Is a Victim and Deserves a Chance ” tour continues.

  38. bmacwillconn says: May 31, 2017 6:49 PM

    All you need to know about why nobody wants any part of Kaepernick can be summed up by the demonstration held outside the league office protesting his not being signed by an NFL team yet. Further proof of all the political baggage this guy is going to bring with him to any team that takes a flyer on him.

    Sorry, he’s not a fan of this country and in my book as well as the vast majority of other Americans, that means take a hike and get a job elsewhere.

  39. butski29 says: May 31, 2017 6:49 PM

    Collin Kaepernick has proven that he cannot play effectively in this league or any other. Beyond this, he is a not someone that most people would want their children to emulate. So…………Quit trying to pretend that the league has done him wrong based on his race. And quit trying to sell his situation like it is based on race. It is not. It is based solely on the FACT that he is not a good player and that he is even less adept at being a good human being. That was his choice and obviously continues to be so.

  40. southpaw79 says: May 31, 2017 7:06 PM

    Multiple players took a knee last year, most are still employed. None that I know of also wore a Fidel Castro shirt and “pig” socks. None have had 24 hour reporting done about them before they opt out of their contract and everyday since then. One set of issues Colin could control, the other he could not. The media’s almost hourly puff and fluff posts/blogs/articles are just making things worse for Colin. So who is to blame, 2 parts Colin 1 part the media.

  41. trubroncfan07 says: May 31, 2017 7:27 PM

    Haha this one is the best. Nobody wants Kaep.

  42. notlistinin says: May 31, 2017 7:33 PM

    The more stories that are written about Kaepernick one thing becomes increasingly clear. The writers who keep this up actually support Kaepernick’s position. Not supporting his right to protest or where, but the actual leftist position where these false ideas of ‘disproportionate amounts of black men are unfairly treated by police’ and all the other lies of the progressives.
    Immune to logic, unmoved by facts, progressives are the worst people in the country and in the Western world period.

  43. wyrdawg says: May 31, 2017 8:48 PM

    I gotta say, with all this off-season stuff and his protests from last year, I disagree that he’s still looking to play. He started against my team last year and he didn’t look right. There was, clearly, something missing in his game.

    Go back and look at the replays of the games he played in last year. He was tentative and lacked decisiveness and the “explosion” he had when he took over that team.

    He looked like an ill-prepared third string QB.

  44. ggreen657 says: May 31, 2017 8:52 PM

    Too much Information. I thought Lynch might have some Belichick in him, but apparently not.

  45. wny49er says: May 31, 2017 9:28 PM

    Long story short, Colin you are not smart enough to run my offense.

  46. raiderrob21 says: May 31, 2017 9:39 PM

    Someone needs to take the microphone out of John Lynch hand. He talks way too much for a GM.

  47. Frank Malloy says: Jun 1, 2017 1:08 AM

    Well, you can’t deny Kap of this – his anti-American, misdirected insults at the American flag and those who died for it on “company” time kept a poor football QB in the news for far longer than his allotted 15 mins of fame.

    For that, it was well played.

  48. harril3 says: Jun 1, 2017 2:15 AM

    John Lynch, class act.

  49. jammer88 says: Jun 1, 2017 5:42 AM

    Chi-pet aka kolin kaepernick is a cancer and his NFL playing days are over and he has only himself to blame.

  50. omeimontis says: Jun 3, 2017 4:09 AM

    Lynch also said earlier that one team made an offer to Kap. I think that team was the 49ers, but Kap apparently turned it down because he probably does not want to play for the 49ers again (for whatever reason) and simply wants to take his chances elsewhere. So, I think Lynch is simply trying to save face by claiming that the Niners would have cut Kap if he did not opt out. He would not have said that if he thinks there is still a chance that Kap will re-sign with the 49ers. Just a guess.

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