Taking a closer look at the Kaepernick trade rumor

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It’s unclear how the rumor got started of the 49ers supposed willingness to trade Colin Kaepernick.  One possible explanation is this:  The 49ers are indeed trying to trade him.  The other possible explanation is that, in the imperfect chain of human communication that results in the truth being inadvertently twisted, chatter about the 49ers having until April 1 of each year to determine whether to keep him around and about the possibility that they’ll move on in 2016 based on how he performs in 2015 morphed into the notion that they’d trade him now.

For several reasons, the strong denial of the trade rumor from G.M. Trent Baalke makes sense.

From a football perspective, who’s the quarterback if the 49ers trade Kaepernick?  Blaine Gabbert?

From a business perspective, how can the 49ers justify running Kaepernick out the door in the same year that Jim Harbaugh and Frank Gore were run out the door — and in the same year that Justin Smith likely will retire and another key player to be named later today won’t be back with the team?  To the casual fan, the notion that the quarterback who not long ago was proclaimed by Ron Jaworski to be one of the potential all-time greats wouldn’t be back for the second season in a swanky new stadium that is generating cash out the wazoo (whatever a wazoo is) would justify a revolt against the front office.

For several other reasons, it’s hard to completely dismiss the possibility that the 49ers would consider a trade, if the trade would result in another quarterback coming to town.

What if they offered Kaepernick plus a first-round pick to Tennessee for the second overall selection?  That would guarantee the acquisition of Jameis Winston (#winwithclass) or Marcus Mariota.  Once that conversation happens, it becomes impossible to keep the other team from blabbing.

Also, Kaepernick’s close ties to Harbaugh may put the 49ers in a no-win situation.  The alternative to trading him now would be to let him struggle for a year or two before moving on.  But if/when he struggles, some will say that’s all the more reason the 49ers shouldn’t have gotten rid of Harbaugh, who would have helped Kaepernick not struggle but grow.

Either way, there’s a lingering sense that Harbaugh’s departure makes Kaepernick an eventual former 49er, too.  The team-friendly, year-to-year contract Kaepernick signed last year serves only to make that perception stronger.

65 responses to “Taking a closer look at the Kaepernick trade rumor

  1. I can absolutely see Kaepernick going to the Wrecks and the Bills, because he can’t pass the ball.

  2. This is simple misinformation as a red herring to cover for the obvious trading of Patrick Willis later on. Tactics people…..tactics. 49er fans can hate on Baalke all they want but he’s a masterful deal maker.

  3. If the local Starbucks needs a new Chief Barista, they should trade him for a years supply of coffee. Then again… there will coffee everywhere, since he can only pass the coffee cups at 100 mph.

  4. “From a football perspective, who’s the quarterback if the 49ers trade Kaepernick? Blaine Gabbert?”

    Nick Foles

  5. unless they are tanking for some great quarterback prospect in next year’s draft that I don’t know about, I don’t see how trading Kaep benefits the team at all

  6. Kaepernick’s eyes are so close together, he always looks like he’s taking a “closer look” at something.

  7. We all know Wiz only likes late round QB’s from his time in AZ. Ten will get the USC DT leaving the Jags to get multiple picks for the 3rd pick.

  8. Another possible bad thing happening to the Niners….and I’m loving every second of it.

  9. Or maybe the freaking guy in Houston just screwed up and it’s really not true.

    Or maybe Baalke is an idiot, and a power-mongering GM that ran a coach out of town that went to three straight NFC title games. That much we know is true.

  10. The ostensible retirement of Cowboy wouldn’t be a shock to 49er fans and, in fact, is highly anticipated. His return is probably around 50/50.

    Last year I floated the possibility of Willis being traded to which the usual line of pitchforks and tar were readied…….same as the time I mentioned the trading of AJ Jenkins after his horrific first and only year with the team.

    Most fans simply don’t have the wherewithal or objective perspective (or desire for that matter) to see beyond their own comfort zones. Which leads us to the obvious trading of Patrick Willis and not Vernon Davis. Davis is in a contract year with no discernible replacement in sight. He stays. Willis is different. He still has tread on the tires but with the inability to trade Whilhoite and his extension plus his serviceable play last season in lieu of Willis……..BamBam suddenly became viable option for trade.

  11. Kaepernick started the rumor himself. He wants to go somewhere where he’ll have more opportunities to kiss his biceps because there won’t be a lot of chances of that happening this upcoming season in San Fran.

  12. I know high firsts tend to get absurd trade values, but the notion of Kaepernick being used to trade up 13 spots is so absurd it should not even have been mentioned.

    Winston is a massive character risk. Mariotta is a slower Kaepernick. Either would take a year or two of development to be where Colin is now, and neither is guaranteed to go higher.

  13. Kaepernick to Michigan for Jabrill Peppers. Makes too much sense for both sides.

  14. qbarrel says:
    Mar 9, 2015 10:08 AM

    Kaep to Chicago for Cutler and a bag of footballs?


    Since the bag of footballs seems to be the big prize in this deal, we need more details.

    How many footballs are we talking about?

    Are they fully inflated?

    Are they kickers balls or QB’s balls?

  15. It’s amazing how a team’s fortunes can change so drastically in a single year.

  16. Patrick Willis is retiring. AND Kaepernick is on the trading block. Obviously they’d trade him for a first so they can try to get another quarterback in the first round. OF COURSE Baalke is denying the reports just like he did with the Harbaugh trade rumors because if it doesn’t happen, what are you going to say to Kaep?

  17. The trade rumor comes from the media that kept harassing Harbaugh last year, until he quit. Before the trade rumor, there were “reports” that Kap would be cut to save salary cap space. That would be insane. If he were cut, other teams needing a QB will snap him up in a jiffy. The qb position is the most important one in a team. The 2 other qbs on the roster are free agents. So, the Niners could go into the season without any quarterback. What good is salary cap space if a team has no qb? So, sportswriters who put out such BS is the real “source” of these BS. They are not reporting anything. They just made stuff up out of thin air.

  18. whatnojets says:Mar 9, 2015 10:40 AM

    Bills are holding a news conference at 11:45 AM today. No word what for.
    I’m thinking it’s for the Jerry Hughes resigning. Don’t think it has anything to do with Kappy, but who knows, this start to free agency for the Bills and many other teams has been pretty crazy.

  19. I can’t say this strongly enough: There is NO way the Titans will agree to ANY kind of trade for Kaepernick. Not because Kap is inferior, but rather Ken Whisenhunt absolutely hates working with dual threat QBs who improvise. In his world, when he makes a play call, you run it as it was drawn up. Just ask Jake Locker.

    – Titans Fan

  20. I thought for sure this post would have been filled with Seahawks fans bashing the 49’ers. I guess the sting from losing the super bowl has not worn off yet.

  21. Kap to the Eagles makes the most sense, we send Foles and linebacker Kendricks to replace Willis to San Fran for Kap, Tom Gamble just left the Eagles to take a job back with the 49ers in the front office so they have someone who knows the players well

  22. ‘I thought for sure this post would have been filled with Seahawks fans’

    Way to deflect attention away from the disastrous dumpster fire in Santa Clara by mentioning a division rival.

  23. Krappernick’s cap number is a boat anchor on the Forty Whiners. The ONLY way they get rid of him is for either Winston or Marriota. In other words, the chances are slim and none.

  24. The only offense that could really make Kap a superstar is Chip Kelly’s. Kap has hit his ceiling in terms of traditional NFL offense. He needs gimmicky college offense to thrive.

  25. I’d take a 3rd-string backup QB before I gave Kaepernick one snap on my team. He’s the most overrated QB in the league.

    Well, maybe Tom Brady is the most overrated, but Kaepernick is a close second.

  26. Since the only team the San Quentin Roadrunner can beat is the Packers, he’ll probably fool the Bears into giving up a ransom for him, LOL.

  27. “frotoon2 says: Mar 9, 2015 10:17 AM Kaepernick’s eyes are so close together, he always looks like he’s taking a “closer look” at something.”

    Thank you. I noticed this too and was searching for a comment but the best I could come up with was a snark about a beady-eyed cobra or something. Good one.

  28. Seahawks fans dont need to bash the 49ers they will take care of that themselves.. Losing a superbowl is better than watching it on tv from santa clara.. Again 2016 the niners will be watching on tv having a big kap attack

  29. “I guess the sting from losing the super bowl has not worn off yet.”

    You lost to the Ravens over 2 years ago…about time you got over it.

  30. Maybe the 49ers aren’t trading Kap because no one will take him off their hands. Maybe he’s a tattoo’d Tim Tebow II and his three years are up.

  31. The secret key player to be named later as also leaving the team is Patrick Willis retiring. They might as well trade Kaepernick and start Plain Garbage. They aren’t going to be able to beat Tampa Bay or Tennessee on a good day this year in any event.

  32. Only a desperate team would trade for Kaepernick. It would have to be some team that believes the hype about how good Kaepernick is. There are a lot of quarterbacks who are out of football, begging for a chance to try out for a team than can throw the ball like Kaepernick.

    If San Francisco wins more than 6 games this year, I will be shocked. They are more likely to go 4-12 than 8-8.

  33. My guess is the fact that there was a major announcement due to come from the 49ers, the rumor mill just started speculating.

  34. “Also, Kaepernick’s close ties to Harbaugh…”


    For some reason as soon as I read that I thought Kaepernick was going back to college to play for Harbaugh at Michigan. LOL.

  35. there’s a bright side to patrick willis retirement: lots more cap room to play with. ( let’s also be completely honest here and say willis was a tad bit overrated). …and, if kap is traded, i’m sure trent baalke has a plan in the works that will make the 49ers a better team. all you 49er haters out there keep spewing out your nonsense opinions about why the team will suck but i think you’re talking more with your heart than your head. GO 49ers in 2015!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Anyone who puts any credence in the Kap trade rumors should immediately go out and have a large image of a lemming tattooed on their chest.

  37. With better footwork and ball control Kaep could be incredible. He just needs to drop the ego, improve his technique, and learn how to disguise a play like a top tier QB. Otherwise, he might acquire the nickname “Telegraph Kid”.

  38. Funny, Kaepernick haters out there. How many QBs have taken their teams to a Super Bowl? Niners know what Kaep has done and can still do. The dude puts in the work. If the Niners would have played defense in that SB, he would have a ring, too.
    Niners know this and are patient with QBs. See Alex Smith. Later, haters.

  39. It’s time to put the Myth of Harbaugh the QB Whisperer to bed.

    2012 — Kaepernick runs a gimmick offense and finishes with a 98.3 QB rating.

    2013 — Teams get better and shutting down the trick offense and Kaepernick finishes with a 91.6 QB rating.

    2014 — The gimmick no longer works, Kaepernick is now a pocket QB who can run — 86.4.

    Where is the growth? Where is a real QB guru, like Bill Walsh, fixing a run-around-train-wreck of a QB like Steve Young and turning him into a HOF QB? Where is the growth?

    Where is anything but Harbaugh, essentially, lucking into Johnson in San Diego and Luck at Stanford and riding their relarive-to-competition excelence into a great reputation?

    There isn’t. Because he’s no QB guru like a Walsh.

    He can’t take Jeff Kemp and make him look like a real NFL QB and perform 15 QB rating points over his career baseline. He can’t take a guy like Matt Cavenaugh or Guy Benjamin and make him a serviceable back-up. He can’t take a guy like DeBerg, who wouldn’t even be drafted in this day and age, and get some half-way decent production out of him.

  40. Kap isn’t terrible so much as inconsistent. The guy has flashes of talented competence and slapstick incompetence in equal measure; in performance if not style he’s kind of a manic Kam Newton.

    But unless the idea is to start from scratch and go dirt-cheap dumping contracts, what is the 9’ers upgrade from Kap? I see a lot of QB’s out there with slightly better throwing, but boat-anchor mobility and the same mental mistakes as Kap.

    Given nature of his contract, 9’ers would be dumb barring some unforeseen steal to dump Kap.

  41. Look, there is absolutely no question that Kaep has regressed in the last couple of years, but it’s not all on him. I think that he started believing all the hype attributed to him, (“best QB ever” — Mort is an idiot), and probably didn’t work as hard as he should of. However, let’s not forget the terrible play calling from Harbaugh and Roman last year. Your QB is struggling, teams have started to figure him out, so let’s have him throw the ball 40+ times a game, even though you have one of the best RB’s in the league. Gore only getting an average of 5 carries per half all season is criminal. That right there is enough reason to fire Harbaugh/Roman.

    I believe that Kaep now realizes that he’ll have to work that much harder at is craft to become a top QB. That’s why he’s spent the winter in AZ learning from Kurt Warner.

    With all his troubles, Kaep was still a top 12 QB in the NFL last year. Anyone who thinks you can trade him and find another one of those is seriously delusional. He has a very cap friendly contract, (low guaranteed money with higher payments based on incentives, (like being a top-5 QB, going to the SB, winning the SB, etc.). He’s the best QB the Niners have had since Steve Young, and he’ll be the Niners QB for a long time

  42. This is guy calls crucial TOs because he get can’t the play called. Thinks he can just wing it, does not put in the prep say Wilson does.

    Can’t even keep his pants up, how is anyone to take him as true leader/winner in the NFL?

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