Browns will trade a third-round pick if Kaepernick will take a pay cut


The Browns are willing to trade a third-round pick to the 49ers to acquire quarterback Colin Kaepernick — but only if Kaepernick is willing to take a pay cut.

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the 49ers want a second-round pick, but might settle for the Browns’ third-round pick, which is the second pick in the round, No. 65 overall. The key, however, is that the Browns would want Kaepernick to agree to a pay cut before the trade is completed.

The Moneyball guys running the Browns’ front office apparently think Kaepernick is only worth $7 million or $8 million a year, and that’s what they’d want Kaepernick to take, with the possibility of more money in the form of performance incentives.

But why should Kaepernick agree to that? On April 1, the 49ers either have to guarantee his $11.9 million base salary or cut him free and let him negotiate with every team and give his services to the highest bidder. Kaepernick also has a $1.125 million roster bonus and $400,000 workout bonus due this year, so if the Browns are asking him to take $7 million, they’re asking him to cut his pay almost in half.

Cabot also suggests that the Browns may draft a quarterback this year and groom him to be their quarterback of the future. Again, why should Kaepernick agree to take a pay cut to go to a team that only wants him as a placeholder while the rookie draft pick develops?

Kaepernick reportedly wants to play for the Browns, so it’s possible he would be willing to restructure his contract to help them out. But it seems unlikely he’d take that steep a pay cut for the privilege of playing in Cleveland.

111 responses to “Browns will trade a third-round pick if Kaepernick will take a pay cut

  1. Wait… The more alarming issue here is that Kap WANTS to play for the Browns.

  2. “For the privilege of playing in Cleveland.” Now that is one funny thought!

  3. The Browns should just draft a QB you can have the guy at 5 mill a year for 5 years or more, why even bothering with Kap?

    Half the teams has left in FA..start over with a clean slate. The Browns need to be functional, they are forcing the other owners to force a sale ll this team soon if it doesn’t get straightened out soon.

    Browns fans deserve way better than this dog and pony show, it’s getting ridiculous.

  4. I’m a bit surprised that Hue Jackson isn’t offering a pair of 1st rounders and a 2nd rounder for Kaepernick the way he did when he screwed up the Raiders for years in the Carson Palmer deal. But there’s still time for Jackson to further screw up the Browns when he again tries to play GM over the next few years.

  5. Cleveland’s ownership hasn’t changed but Sashi Brown has brought a stark change to the way the team operates. The Browns are now seeking value in free agency while the Giants, Jaguars and Raiders spend like drunken sailors. Good luck to the new philosophy.

  6. leftypointspread says:
    Mar 12, 2016 6:57 AM
    With what QBs are getting paid he should wait to get cut.
    Our front office is stupid, but not that stupid. There’s no way they would cut Kaep when they can get something for him. 11 mil this year to keep him isn’t that much compared to other qbs. They will wait until the end of March and take the best offer for him or just keep him through the summer, when another team shows interest. No way they would just let him walk.

  7. Can the browns support a quality QB. Running around to survive and going thru a progression is not all that easy. Then deciding to run with defenders just waiting for you. Doing this all season, and loosing games. Not in anyone’s best interest….

  8. What a joke, He sucks. Isn’t even worth a 6th rounder and 5 mil a season. Why would anyone want a qb that doesn’t even understand how to throw a ball properly?

  9. What are we doing? Tank for deshaun Watson. We’re already going to be awful again. Stay with mccown again and win 2 games. Trade a third for kap and win 4 maybe? So dumb. Let’s get as many mediocre players as possible to try and have the 5th pick next year. That worked great for the past 15 years. A possible franchise guy is a year away.

  10. Ugly dingo- you need to swap out the raiders in your comment with the Dolphins. I’m not a Raider fan in the least, but I think they are having one of their best offseasons so far.

  11. The Browns are playing this the right way. They’re saying they’d take Kaepernick for the right price but aren’t about to overpay for someone who needs to prove he can still play in the league. Having the stones to say “Here’s our offer, take it or leave it. We have no problem walking away” is half the battle.

    This team is in a massive rebuild – again. They let some high priced guys get away in free agency but they were 3-13 with them, they can be 3-13 without them while grooming young and affordable players to step up. It’s long and slow, but the right way to do it.

  12. Hahabaha. Are you kidding me. Who in their right mind would agree to cut their pay in half to got to the Browns. I wouldnt want to go there if they doubled my pay. What a garbage fire that franchise has become. If i was a browns fan i would burn all my merchandise and start watching ladies field hockey. Total embarrasment.

  13. Way to spin a positive Browns story into one that isn’t.

    Keep up that unbiased reporting, I don’t think anyone notices. smh.

  14. I think it is always a great idea to try and lowball the one dude who WANTS to go to your crappy team…

  15. The move make sense from the Browns perspective but Kappernik’s agent won’t agree and will force SF to cut him. Then Kap can pick his team (Denver) or create a bidding war. Anybody who followed Chip Kelly knows loses players and gets nothing (Desean Jackson) in return. His personality and lack of patience doesn’t allow for it.

  16. I pity you Browns fans. Y’all will be looking for a new head coach, GM and franchise QB again in 2 years. Rinse. Repeat.

  17. How does taking less money help- the Browns? What happened to the ” must spend at least 90% rule” that was implemented several years ago? The Browns haven`t approached that in the 3 or 4 years that it has been a part of the NFLPA contract with the league. They are always near the top of the list in available free agent money, and they just lost four starters including 9 million a year Alex Mack.

  18. If Kaepernick wants to play for the Browns you know he has limited options. He better agree to the pay cut before he gets cut and has to settle for much less.

  19. Kap should only get 7 or 8M while players like Tannehill and Osweiler get around 18M?
    Who has quarterbacked there teams to multiple NFC Championship games and a Superbowl?

  20. @uglydingo:

    Well, that’s one spin you could put on it. Another might be that players want to get out of Cleveland as fast as possible, evinced by their mass exodus of free agents and the dearth of new free agents they’ve acquired. The Raiders and Giants have made themselves better….other than by cutting Manziel, the Browns haven’t. Maybe they will hammer the draft….but their entire existence since ’99 strongly suggests otherwise.

  21. First of all, Kaepernick doesn’t want to play for the Browns. He’s just saying that publicly because he doesn’t want to get the reputation of a malcontent. Second, the Browns don’t want Kaepernick as their QB of the future. They’re throwing out a smoke screen because they plan on taking a QB at #2, and they don’t want someone to trade up to #1 to nab him.

  22. Those moneyball nerds running the Browns are executing their game plan to perfection.

    Step one: clean house of all of the best players on an already talent-thin roster

    Step two: actively pursue a marginally talented, head case as your starting QB.

  23. I’m a bronco fan I don’t want this guy. Someone who wants to go to a team that has no pressure on them just shows what kind of guy he is. Doesn’t care about winning just wants to make money and play football. If he really cared about winning he’d push to come to Denver the fact he hasn’t just shows he’s scared of the lights and the pressure.

  24. I’d take a pay cut to AVOID the Browns. I’m no Kap fan but seems to me he’d only do this as a favor to the Niners and Browns. Why would he do that? Just sit tight and wait to be cut.

  25. When will it stop in Cleveland?

    We have an owner who is too damn cheap to sign players the Browns drafted and who are now free agents…

    …but the owner has no problem spending tons of cash on some other teams leftovers.

    Kaepernick is coming off of 3 different surgeries in the off season and there is no way of knowing if he will be the QB he once was.

    …but Jimmy, flying J Haslam will spend whatever it takes to land Kaepernick.

    …and Browns fans will once again fill the stadium for Jimmy.

    Jimmy Haslam is the worst owner in the NFL

  26. Kaepernick has been just an awful QB the last couple of years. His lack of understanding defenses and having the game slow down for him is not going to change overnight.

    Browns are gonna brown.

  27. Kaepernick has the lowest completion percentage of any starting QB over the last 3 seasons. Why would the browns want him?

  28. This continues to get more interesting by the minute. I really wish the Brown’s franchise ALL the best, but, is Kap worth this kind of headache? I’m not sure. He has certainly not been one of the kind of players like SF has had trouble with in the past few years, or the Browns for that matter, so that is a good thing. Plus, who really wants to start off with another rookie QB, right? He already likes the coach, that is ALWAYS a good thing. Okay, I just talked myself into this one, Kap should be a Cleveland Brown. He and LaBron and compare tats!!!

  29. Sit tight, get cut, and wait for the Jets to pay 4 year $60M contract. He literally is competing for 3 jobs with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Bryan Hoyer for Broncos, Browns and Jets QB jobs.

    Fitz is like the Jeff Garcia off this decade…

  30. The Browns are delusional. If Kaep doesn’t prove he can play the Browns can cut him in 2017 and 2018 before April 01 for zero cost. No money guaranteed until after April 01 in both of those years.. The Browns have no line. Half of them left in Free Agency the last two days. What are they going to do ? Take their first round pick and draft one of the kids, throw them on the field in 2016 and destroy them? The Browns need Kaepernick and use their picks to buy some lineman. Right now they are on target for a disastrous 2016 and yet another destruction of a drafted first round pick..

  31. Wait. Why would Kaepernick agree to a 50% pay cut and presumably nothing more guaranteed when he can do nothing and get either 100% from the Niners or go to free agency where it stands to reason that the Browns would be willing to give him the same deal plus whatever the draft pick is worth? How can he lose by doing nothing?

  32. Agree with above…Hugh Jackson screwed the raiders for years with his moronic trade for Carson Palmer. Idiot.

    He deserves the Browns and his current team. Pack sand Hugh.

  33. FYI. I personally knew a NFL quarterback who was traded there, and he liked he place. My sister and husband reluctantly transferred there, lived there many years and rave about the city. I have had season tickets in three other NFL cities, but was never treated better than when I attended a Browns game with a friend. And, it was an enormous difference on the plus side. This includes one Super Bowl trip, as well, to yet another NFL city. Everyone loved the place so much they didn’t even complain about the snow. So, naysayers, until you at least visit there, why don’t you just stop the garbage talk. And, no, I am not even from Ohio. I don’t mean cut them a break, cut yourself one; we see how stupid you appear.

  34. The raiders are only having a great off season due to their cap space… They over paid for every player … This will come with confidence when they look to resign players or in next years free agency. Personally, I like what they’re doing. Trying to win but they pushed all their chips in. Win or die

  35. Kaepernick will be the new poster boy for Browns dysfunctionality. I can’t wait until he gets there.

    The Browns are already known for being a factory of sadness; now they’ll be known for a factory of laughs too.

    The Browns are better then the circus that comes to town. LOL.

  36. and we wonder why players are leaving Cleveland. The entire mess there goes directly to the owner. There will not be bidding wars for Kap.

  37. Im a huge 49ers fan and appreciate all that Kap has done for the squad and don’t put the whole situation that is ongoing all on his shoulders , just get the move done so both sides can move on! One way or another this limbo crap isn’t helping anyone !

  38. Dude the three surgeries were a labrum tear on his NON THROWING SHOULDER and two minor surgeries to repair a thumb tendon and knee cartilage..

  39. Why would Kap take a pay cut? Obviously he’s worth his contract and more since teams are willing to trade for him.

    What kind of idiots are running things in Cleveland. I respect their new coach but it sure seems management still doesnt know what they’re doing.

  40. Nice thought by the Browns to push for an incentive-laden deal, but Sam Bradford just got $18 million a year after doing nothing on a $13 million a year contract and as Florio pointed out, Kaepernick could just wait to be retained or cut and end up with more money. The Browns fail to realize they have no leverage to drive a hard bargain right now.

  41. If the Browns are smart they will grab Kaepernick and use their picks to get a bunch of outstanding lineman in this year’s draft.. Go with a developmental QB guy like Cardale Jones in the 3rd or 4th round. That would be a smart rebuild..

  42. Morals wise Kaepernick is only a couple of steps above Manzel. As we all know he had some off the field involvement with that girl in that bedroom with his buddies. Not charged, just there.

  43. Take a pay cut to go to Cleveland? Sometimes people let stupidity get in the way of making a brilliant move that can change their franchise.

    Hue Jackson is my guy and the best Raiders coach we had in 13 years and all, but c’mon man. He talked about how bad he wanted Kaepernick, and how disappointed he was when the 49ers selected him in the draft. Now, here’s your chance….pull the trigger.

  44. A third rounder for Manziel West? You’d be better off bringing Josh McCown back for another year and try again in 2017…Which is what you’re going to be doing anyway after your 4-2 start and your 1-9 finish.

  45. Kap wants to play for Hue because he feels Hue can make him a very good qb. He has eyes on personal improvement, and that may pay of in a future top contract.. May work for both sides if it’s an incentive rich contract. I’m not a Kap fan, but I am now.. The guy actually want to play for us.. I think Bernie was the last guy who wanted to be here in Cleveland

  46. This has got to be killing Kaepernick’s ego. First he gets a real garbage deal from the 49rs so he thinks – “hey the Browns will throw a ton of money at me because they are so desperate” – and the Browns say, “Your old deal is a bad deal for us, let’s scale it back….”

  47. The Browns want to pay Kaepernick more than he is worth at 7-8 million. If Kaepernick doesn’t do it and the 49ers cut him, he will have to negotiate with teams that are not going to be willing to pay him what San Francisco stupidly agreed to pay him. He will be lucky to pull down 7-8 million on the market. Decent Back-up quarterbacks are pulling 5-6 million n today’s market. That is what Kaepernick is actually worth.

  48. The Browns offered to build a three-sided full-length mirror near his locker and Kaepernick yelled “I’m in!”

  49. uglydingo says:
    Mar 12, 2016 7:01 AM

    Cleveland’s ownership hasn’t changed but Sashi Brown has brought a stark change to the way the team operates. The Browns are now seeking value in free agency while the Giants, Jaguars and Raiders spend like drunken sailors. Good luck to the new philosophy.
    Oakland has to spend just to reach the cap floor. Of Osemele, Irvin, Crabtree, Hudson, and Smith, Smith is the only one with a prorated contract. And it’s only 1.25M. If you want to go back further, Austin Howard has 1.4M in can-kick money tied to his contract. When it comes time to extend Carr and Mack, they won’t be pressed for cash.

  50. It’s a smart move because Kaepernick I think everyone agrees can’t carry a team but did fine when an ensemble piece on a team with a strong defense. I tink they will have to come closer to $10 mil a year, but that would be more than fair to get what they want done, a QB capable of winning big games and going to a Super Bowl with a lot of cap space to stack the roster through the draft and with next year’s better FA class. That draft pick considering where they pick though is the only thing I would not personally want to give up and would rather go with the 4th instead. But it’s not a terrible deal if they can get it done. Then, you’re not drafting a Division II or spread QB, which Kaepernick is and has already gone through the lumps of learning, to play right away. At 2, then the possiblities are endless, but Jalen Ramsey would be a great replacement for the overrated Gibson, trade down, etc.

  51. If I am Elway, I pass on Kaep he has accuracy issues and doesn’t seem like a good leader. I call up Saints and trade this years third round pick for who they picked last year in the third round – Garrett Grayson. Bring the CSU kid back to Colorado and let him compete with Siemian and Sanchez. Use first round pick for Derrick Henry and second round pick for Offensive Lineman. Rest of draft for LB, DL and other holes.

  52. If I was Kaepernick, I’d refuse to show up and refuse to take a pay cut. For the Browns anyway.

    Who in their right mind would willingly go to Cleveland to play football?

  53. The factory of sadness continues.

    They hire a bunch of ‘smartest guys in the room’ types with little/no experience in the NFL.

    It’s reportedly claimed they want to be active in free agency as well as re-signing their own.

    They whiff on both leaving players to wonder what the hell it going on.

    Now you hear they want to trade a 3rd round pick for a gimmick QB that has been exposed and is mentally fragile and place him on an even worse team then he just left?

    Good luck with that Cleveland.

    These new guys look like they could be worse then any of the previous ones. At least it’s starting out that way. Cleveland fans should pray Kaepernick is stubborn on his contract and a trade doesn’t go through.

  54. Based upon performance alone, Kaep is not worth more than $7-8M per year. Kirk Cousins is not worth more than $7-8M per year. Brock Osweiler, who has accomplished exactly nothing in his 4 year career, is definitely NOT worth more than $7-8M per year.

    And while panic overspending may be the way of the world in the NFL, it is NOT the way of Paul DePodesta’s world. He learned sports economics at the right hand of Billy Beane. If Browns fans are waiting for big splashes in free agency, or the team overpaying to keep its own players around, or trade super high draft picks, I suggest you rent Moneyball.

    Paul DePodesta doesn’t look like Jonah Hill, but he is who that character is based on.

  55. As an Osweiler fan, $72M/4 years ($18M/year) is a bit ridiculous, considering that Brock has never ever won a playoff game, let alone played in one, let alone ever played in a Super Bowl like Kaepernick. Give Brock $18M/year, then Kaep is worth $25M/year. How’s my math?

  56. barrymichaels61 says:
    Mar 12, 2016 8:06 AM
    Kap should only get 7 or 8M while players like Tannehill and Osweiler get around 18M?
    Who has quarterbacked there teams to multiple NFC Championship games and a Superbowl?


    In 2014, when the Top-3 defense collapsed with all the injuries, the 7-4 49ers finished 8-8 because he couldn’t carry the team. Unlike an actual good QB who can get his crappy-defense team to the Superbowl/Conference Championship games.

  57. Luke, I don’t exactly understand what point you are trying to make. It is highly doubtful that Beane’s metrics will work in football. For that matter it is questionable whether they work well for him in baseball. Some would argue that the A’s are essentially a farm team for MLB. Players are worth what the market will pay so you can say they are worth one amount but payed another amount and there is no basis for your reality. To nickel and dime Kaepernick’s contract which allows the player to be cut with no salary guarantee by April 01 in 2017 and 2018 while you are sitting on $39 million US in Cap space and a deal that will free up your first round pick to address other critical needs is ludicrous..

  58. We don’t need Kap. We’ve already got our guy … the perfect leader for the Cleveland Clowns is Luke McClown.

  59. barrymichaels61 ,
    Yep, because the Dolphin defense was terrible while Tannehill was choking playoff berths in 2013 and 2014. Tannehill also obviously has gone to New England (with several cracks at it) and Green Bay and won big games on the road. Some of you take your hyperbole a bit far. Everyone thought the 49ers would be a train wreck last year, they were, but now that’s Kaepernick’s fault somehow. Okay, that makes sense.

  60. I often wonder who makes a bigger deal out of the contract numbers, fans & media or agents & players?

    Kap and his agents would have to be idiots to think that Kap retained any value due to his forgettable year and injuries. His stock took a hit, plain and simple.

    Likewise the new front office in Cleveland needs to be cautious as simply acquiring Kap doesn’t solve all of their problems.

  61. The balls on the Browns!Somebody of some name wants to play for them and they want a discount..What an organization.

  62. Paycut as in veteran minimum.

    This trade has a 10% chance of happening for a 7th rounder. Take his one-trick-ponyness and add in the attitude and low IQ and you have someone who will be cut and have to sign for vet min.

  63. I don’t know what’s going on with Kap. Do I think the kid can be saved. Maybe. But, he’s got to get with a quarterback guru. Jackson might be that guy. But, I wouldn’t take that pay cut if I was him. I would take my chances playing a year with Chip Kelly and see if I can put myself back in the good graces of the league in general. Now, my other issue is this running around with Aldon Smith’s gf. Who is now his gf. A team’s quarterback has got to be the leader. The one guy that does not act like a idiot is supposed to be the quarterback. The kid has got a ton of skills. I would to see him give it a go with Kelly. I think he could run for 1,000 yards in that offense. Just not sure you want your quarterback doing that.

  64. Not a Kap fan, but the man did take his team to the brink of winning a super bowl and going to a second the next season. How many QBs have done that? As a Niners fan, I put the drop-off in his performance more on coaching than Kap. I mean, we’re talking about a coach who called more passes of gas than on 3rd and long situations. Kap is definitely worth more than $7-8M.

  65. Browns fans, ur team has been in the rebuilding process since it got back in the league. The analytics machine is not going to fix that problem. Time to jump ship and support another team.

  66. You need a QB with a strong arm to play in that division to due to weather conditions and Kaepernick has the arm. He is a good fit for the Browns.

  67. I’m guessing the 49ers also wanted him to take a pay cut which is when his agents started asking for permission to seek a trade. If he doesn’t and no one trades for him I’m guessing they cut him. No one wants a player who doesn’t want to be there – especially at 12 million + dollars a year.

  68. The Texans,Dolphins,and Eagles have set the bar high for middlie of the pack QBs. Kap has dropped back into this cluster of NFL QBs. He should consider taking a pay cut ifvhe wants to remain a starter in this league.

  69. As though the Brown’s fans haven’t suffered enough. Now Kap WANTS to play for them. Good grief.

  70. The Browns management apparently is clueless not understanding that Kaepernick already has a relatively low contract. Good luck Cleveland with Austin Davis starting the year at QB. I’d rather fold socks, clean the gutters, and scrub the grout in my bathroom than watch Austin Davis at the helm.

  71. Kaepernick had a better career completion rate, overall passer rating, and rushing average than Cam Newton. They came out of the same draft. Why wouldn’t he be worth signing. He’s not as dumb as Newt, either. Although he has his moments.

  72. csbanter says:
    Mar 12, 2016 2:03 PM

    The Texans,Dolphins,and Eagles have set the bar high for middlie of the pack QBs. Kap has dropped back into this cluster of NFL QBs. He should consider taking a pay cut ifvhe wants to remain a starter in this league.

    There all basically the same contracts modeled after Kaps. The teams have an out clause after a few seasons.

  73. They (Browns) did lose Schwartz and Mack to FA. They did draft a center last year that is reputed very good and the reason they didn’t attempt to re-sign Mack. Schwartz, I think, was a surprise. The Browns have $39 million in Cap space and would not have to burn their #2 on a QB if they acquire Kaep. The Draft this year is deep with quality O lineman but that said it’s never a slam dunk. If Cleveland signed a FA O lineman I would feel more comfortable if I were Kaep. But Cleveland is in a similar boat as the Niners with the NFL, FA community-no confidence in the organization and a destination of last resort. The Niners are in a tough spot in that the Cleveland deal is a superior deal-that #65 is like a second rounder.. But face it, SF will regret not getting a deal done. Kaep doesn’t want to be here. It will be a constant distraction and it will, without question, effect the locker room-the last thing Chip/Baalke need… So either Kaepernick rolls the dice and goes to Cleveland and hopes Hugh fixes the line or Baalke takes Denver’s deal and be done with

  74. The moneyball guy isn’t trying to force a baseball strategy onto a football team. He is a guy who takes an efficiency approach to a given situation.

    In the baseball situation, he was with a low-spending team in a sport with no salary cap, so he looked at the data and tailored an approach to team building to that very specific situation.

    Now, he’s in a situation where he gets to build a roster from the ground up in a league with a salary cap. He is going to take a long view on pretty much everything, and build a team that maximizes every dollar and every opportunity. Now, maybe it isn’t as simple as it seemed to be in baseball. Maybe he makes a wrong assumption that blows the whole model. But as a league doormat, it must be exciting for the fans that they now have one guy doing it differently than 31 other teams.

    The Patriots started doing it different a decade and a half ago, look how that turned out.

    The Seahawks were a filthy mess in 2010, then a couple of guys with a different philosophy on team building turned it around in a hurry.

    Chip Kelly came in and had two solid seasons at 10-6, then maybe flew too close to the sun.

    Point is, if they play the game straight, Cleveland has to do what they have been trying to do for 17 years, claw and scratch their way out of the cellar. There is a lot of optimism for an approach that either keeps them where they are for 2-3 more years, or vaults them into contention in that time.

  75. @aj66, So then are you saying spending a third rounder and paying Kap his current salary is over valued? Instead burn your #2 on a QB who if you start with their current roster decimated by FA and no one wanting to sign in FA with them is a better value?? Use the #2 and start a kid who will get destroyed or sit him and get no immediate help with the pick is a better value? The Kap trade was an absolute value and a no brainer…

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