York seems to say 49ers won’t grant Kaepernick permission to seek trade


As it turns out, the item from Sunday morning regarding 49ers owner Jed York’s position on quarterback Colin Kaepernick came from a much longer interview of York by Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News. The rest of the hour-long discussion has been posted in multiple chunks by Purdy, and it contains more from York on the team’s enigmatic once-and-perhaps-future franchise quarterback.

Asked directly about the reports that Kaepernick’s agents have requested permission to seek a trade, York was dismissive.

“I haven’t talked to his people,” York said. “And I try to stay away from what the agents say. I know what our feeling is. We want Kap to be healthy. And we’d like to see Kap here.”

Asked specifically whether the team will grant the request for permission to seek a trade, York became evasive.

“I think there’s so much tampering that takes place . . . which the NFL has kind of taken the governor off of, a little bit, in terms of what they allow to happen in Indianapolis . . . the tampering that took place in terms of what happens in free agency,” York said. “So would it shock me that people are talking? It wouldn’t shock me. But I think our guys have said very clearly that we’d like Kap to be part of the San Francisco 49ers.”

York’s acknowledgement that the league “has kind of take the governor off” of tampering in Indianapolis presumes there ever was a governor in place. There wasn’t, there hasn’t been, and there will never be. Tampering is rampant every year at the Scouting Combine, primarily as it relates to players poised to become free agents. But as to players like Kaepernick, who remains under contract through 2020 but who apparently wants a change of scenery, York is right. Communications with other teams will occur regardless of whether the 49ers sanction it. And perhaps the most significant aspect of York’s response is that he has become one of the very few NFL executives to actually acknowledge on the record the widespread tampering in which everyone (including the 49ers, most likely) is currently engaged.

Asked one more time for a clear position on whether the request for permission by Kaepernick’s agents to seek a trade will be granted, York avoided providing a direct answer but still responded. Basically, York acknowledges that permission isn’t needed.

“I’ve been around the NFL long enough to know that you don’t need to grant agents permission to make phone calls,” York said. “So, again, we’re not actively doing anything. I can’t stop somebody from reaching out. But our opinion is, we’d like Kap to be here. And I think when you look at what Chip’s offensive philosophy is, I think Kap is a very good fit for that. I think Chip has said that. We expect Kap to be here.”

And there’s the team’s effort to maintain the upper hand when it comes to trade talks. We want him, and we’re not making the first move if someone else wants him more. But if someone else calls and wants to talk about trading for him, we’ll listen. Otherwise, he’ll be on the team this year.

It’s obvious that the 49ers are trying to maximize the market for Kaepernick elsewhere by selling the rest of the league on their desire to keep him. The decision of Kaepernick’s agents to leak to multiple reporters their request for permission to seek a trade undermined San Francisco’s strategy. The team’s response represents the best possible chicken salad recipe they could concoct under the circumstances.

Meanwhile, it’s still unclear whether the 49ers or Kaepernick’s agents leaked to NFL Media the notion that the Texans and Browns are interested in Kaepernick when both teams reportedly aren’t. But it’s clear that’s the next step in getting the phone to ring: Selling the response of the league on the possibility that, if you don’t make a move now, he may be traded to someone else.

The only problem for the 49ers is that, just as York has been around the NFL long enough to know how tampering works, the rest of the NFL has been around the NFL long enough to know exactly what’s going on here. Which means that if anyone actually trades for Kaepernick it won’t be the result of gamesmanship or leverage but because someone else genuinely wants him on the team.

If someone else does, they’re keeping their cards close to the vest. At some point down the road, whether on or after March 9 (if the 49ers sign someone else, like Sam Bradford), on or after April 1 (when Kaepernick’s salary becomes fully guaranteed), or during or after the draft (when another team fails to get the rookie it wants), Kaepernick’s football fate for 2016 will become clear.

44 responses to “York seems to say 49ers won’t grant Kaepernick permission to seek trade

  1. I’m a Kaep fan and have always defended him. And this kills me to say this because York is a turd, but he’s right this time. Kaep wanted a big contract and he got it. He needs to man up and get his starting job back. He’s all butthurt from getting benched. Get better, pick up a playbook, study film and do what’s necessary to win back the job and stop pouting about it. Kaep needs the Niners more than the Niners need Kaep.

  2. The whole scenario plays like something out of theater of the absurd. It’s doubtful Kaepernick has more value to any coach than to Kelly and even with him it is probably not all that high. With that contract who is taking on that combination of damaged goods and high risk? At what cost in trade? It’s ridiculous

  3. First things first, York is not the worst owner in the NFL. However, the way things are going, he’s fast approaching Haslam’s status as the worst, most incompetent owner in football, if not in all of pro sports.

    Kaepernick had one good year then pouted for a new big money contract -which he got- and proceeded to suck. Imagine that… when you’re benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert, it should give you a wake up call. No, not Kaep… he behaved like a spoiled child and pouted some more.

    In addition, Chip Kelly’s system is perfect for a guy with Kaepernick’s skills. No, he wants out but here’s the thing. His contract makes him difficult to trade, unless the Niners eat some of the money.

    Dicey situation and fans in the Bay Area will be better off cheering for the Raiders. Funny but the outlook is not quite as bleak for the silver and black than it is in Santa Clara.

  4. Kaepernick will re-surface kind of like Kurt Warner did with Arizona. You can’t go back and erase history. Kaepernick led the 49ers to a super bowl and an NFC Championship in back to back seasons. He’s very, very young. He’ll play again, and he’ll play for a long, long time in the NFL. It’s obvious that Kaepernick and just about every other player is looking to get the heck out of San Francisco. The 49ers are going to go out of their way to make it hard on Kaepernick, even if it hurts their own team. No owner in the history of the league has made it any more clear than the York’s, that winning isn’t a priority. Not even a low priority. The league will eventually have to step in and force the sale of the franchise.

  5. if Kaep was not such a glorifying figure their wouldnt be sevaral articles(like today) about him and their wouldnt be countless haters (on every article). #GoNiners #Nobodyhasitbetter #KapWILLgetusSIX

  6. York is wetting himself over a Kaperdink turn around under the Chip. They didnt just come up with the idea of oh lets get Chip.
    They wanted him for one stinking reason, to get Kaperdink to be what he was a few years ago, a game changing kind of guy. So this talk of them trading him is just foolish fooder for the brain dead.

  7. Ask any fan of the 49ers what their problem is, and they all say the same thing, the owner. That’s their problem.

  8. I am not a J York defender (heck, he’s got a bit more money than me, and so he doesn’t need me watching his back). And seeing how I do not KNOW the man, can’t say whether I like him or not. Anyhow, going forward with GRo as OC, Fangio as DC, that absolutely insane offensive play calling set up in place, Kaep’s shortcomings as a QB – and the cherry on top, Harbaugh and York not being able to stand the sight of each other, I fully understand letting Harbaugh go. Harbaugh’s “mojo” was starting to seriously unravel when they hit 8 and 8. Why everybody and his brother is so convinced that cast of characters would suddenly begin winning again the next year beats the hell outta me. Does that make York a bad guy, to me – No. The chicken-s*&^ he handled things – Yes. Is he THE worse owner, hell I don’t know. What kind of scale are we measuring him, Jones, Snyder and lets say Rooney by?

  9. immafubared | Feb 28, 2016, 3:24 PM PST
    York is wetting himself over a Kaperdink turn around under the Chip. They didnt just come up with the idea of oh lets get Chip.
    They wanted him for one stinking reason, to get Kaperdink to be what he was a few years ago, a game changing kind of guy. So this talk of them trading him is just foolish fooder for the brain dead.

    This is the most truthful comment on this subject. It’s obvious they brought CK in for CK!

  10. Ever since this team left SF and moved to Santa Clara, nothing good has happened. Having both York and Kaepernick in the organization simply continues this malaise.

  11. Kaepernick has no trade value. He’s not a good quarterback.
    It’s not complicated. What complicates it is the lack of good quarterbacks in the NFL.
    Kaepernick is not one of them.

  12. In 08 the 9ers lost a 5th rounder and had to swap 3rd rounders with Chicago due to tampering so they actually do have a legitimate reason to be careful when it comes to tampering.

  13. The fact is, no team will trade for him. He’s worth nothing of value.
    They’ll either have to pay him, or cut him.
    There won’t be a trade.

  14. I really don’t think York is trying to up the trade value. Kap is the right fit for the type of offense Chip Kelly wants to install. So is RGIII. One of the two will be the starting QB when the FA dust settles.

  15. Notice York never mentions WHAT PRICE they want him back at. NO TEAM wants to pay him what he’s supposed to get. I’m fairly certain Kap was asked to take less to come in and compete with Gabbert and that was the last straw for him and his agents. Lemme outta here!

  16. Jed York didnt draft Kaepernick, he didnt force Jim Harbaugh to play him they went 8-8. Jed York took over the franchise, went to a Super Bowl and three NFC championships in a row. Jed York built he nicest newest stadium in the NFL. Unless you are Patriots, Broncos or Seahawks fan you shouldnt have much to say. Trust me i dont like the circus, but after Kape is gone and people stop falsely accusing Chip Kelly of being racist(which is the real reason people dont like him) things should return to normal.

  17. As a Hawks fan, I should want Kap to leave the Niners.

    As a football fan, though, I wanna see what Kap can do in Chip Kelly’s offense 😉

  18. Niners are in a tight spot. Regardless of what Kelly says, Kaep is not a keeper. If Team Bradford rejects Eagles latest offer, Niners can’t commit $19 mill per year to Sam and $12 million to Kaep. No team will pick up Kaep’s contract. Kelly let D-Jax go for nothing and a salary cap hit of $12 mill. . Kaep has a cap hit of $16.8 million. What’s Kelly care? It’s not his money.

  19. The continued fascination with Sam Bradford is amazing. He never looked particularly good running Chip’s offense in Philly and would surely look far worse in San Fran given there is less talent there. Gabbert would be a better solution than spending $19 million (or whatever) on Bradford.

  20. It sounds to me like the 49ers think Jared Goff is going to be the next Joe Montana so they’re doing everything possible to throw the other teams off so that nobody jumps in front of them and snags Goff. If you really believe Goff is the next Montana, it will be worth it to eat Kaepernick’s contract for a year until Goff gets ready. And they probably think Gabbert is better suited to run the new offense that’s going to be designed for Goff, so Gabbert will probably be the week one starter. This will also give Chip Kelly time to see if Gabbert can be a capable backup going forward. If they get a good offer for Kap in the mean time, they’ll consider moving him. I don’t think they want to throw Goff to the wolves right away. Pretty smart plan by the 49ers, if that’s the plan.

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