As expected, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has undergone surgery on his non-throwing shoulder. Via Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, the damage to Kaepernick’s labrum was “extensive.”
Barrows also reports that Kaepernick’s recovery is expected to take four to six months. In little more than four months, April 1 arrives — the day on which Kaepernick’s $11.9 million salary for 2016 switches from being guaranteed for injury only to being fully guaranteed.
It means that the 49ers could have an even harder time trading Kaepernick (it already wasn’t going to be easy), and that they may have to cut him before he’s fully cleared, hopeful that he’ll eventually become healthy prior to Week One, at which time he’d be entitled to still collect paychecks if he remains injured.
Some have suggested that Kaepernick gets the $11.9 million if he can’t pass a physical before April 1. And while Kaepernick’s camp may indeed make that argument as part of a grievance that would be filed if Kaepernick is cut before he’s healthy, the more likely outcome is that Kaepernick would get money guaranteed for injury only if he can’t pass a physical before Week One of the 2016 regular season.
Either way, it’s hard to imagine Kaepernick playing for the 49ers in 2016.