Chip Kelly’s tune on Colin Kaepernick changes from “when” to “if”


The only thing that continues to be clear about the possibility of a Colin Kaepernick trade is that the 49ers are willing to trade him. Coach Chip Kelly underscored that reality, intentionally or not, on Wednesday by addressing Kaepernick’s status for the first time since the Scouting Combine.

If he’s here on April 4 [at the start of the offseason program] we’re going to coach the heck out of him, and he’s going to work his [tail] off,” Kelly at the San Jose State Pro Day workout, via Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.

“If” is a far cry from the things Kelly said last month, when he tried to dismiss the possibility that Kaepernick won’t be on the roster on April 1, when his $11.9 million salary for 2016 becomes fully guaranteed.

“‘Is he on the team? Is he not on the team?’” Kelly said on February 25. “It’s never been a question. I’m excited to work with Colin. I’ve never thought that, ‘Hey, I’m going to go to San Francisco and he’s not going to be there.’ I don’t know why everybody else looks at it that way, either. . . . Kap’s really good. He had the ball on the five yard line, taking the team in to win the Super Bowl. You can just look at the tape and know how talented he is. Our job is acquiring talent, not getting rid of talent.”

At a time when the reports of a possible trade are so rampant that it’s almost become a given that the 49ers are trying to move him, saying “if he’s here on April 4” won’t make anyone believe the 49ers aren’t trying to trade him. The only way to send that message is to say, “We’re absolutely, positively not trading him. And we know you won’t believe me because football teams always misrepresent their intentions for strategic purposes, but you’ll see that we mean it when he’s still on the roster when the season starts, and when the season ends.”

Short of that, a trade to the Broncos or the Browns (or someone else) remains in play, with the 49ers possibly prepared to take the best deal possible the day before his salary becomes guaranteed — especially since the NFL is a deadline-driven business.

29 responses to “Chip Kelly’s tune on Colin Kaepernick changes from “when” to “if”

  1. Mike, why don’t you throw a jab in regards to the him saying , “Our job is acquiring talent, not getting rid of talent.” when that is all he did when he was in Philly. He said that weeks ago, and this is the second time I’ve seen that quote…it’s like the perfect setup…

  2. “If” he comes back, Chip is just gonna trade him for a an LB coming an ACL anyway.

  3. Ok
    I’m somewhat of a Balke fan… I know, I know, many might question why?! But in this case, he should get over himself. Kap at $12 is better than anybody currently available…. Gabbert at the helm is a year of mediocracy… Don’t blame the new coach and system outcome on this… So what if he was a Harbaugh guy… This isn’t high school…

  4. No smart will make a trade before April 1.
    Make the Niners decide what to do.

  5. Realistically speaking, why in the world would Elway want CK on the Broncos?! Gabbert played better than CK for the 49ers! Sanchez is a great back-up/semi-starter, but acquiring CK just complicates the QB issue–it doesn’t solve anything. Fitzpatrick is just another Osweiler 2.0 compensation situation, unless Fitz comes in and plays for less during year one, and then hopes to get paid year 2+… but we all know he won’t last that long. RG3–forget about it. I think Elway knows that the chances of repeating as SB champions is slim to none… I think he waits for a franchise QB he can pick up for the 2017-18 season.

  6. arguably the worst owner in the league, worst head coach in the league, and one of the worst QBs in the league (He got benched for Blaine Gabbert) Who cares what any of them have to say??????

  7. Cam Imam of the Bay Area news group reported last night that Kap declared he intends to report to the Niner facility if nothing happens before the trade deadline.

  8. this is great news.

    I hope Kelly has just as much luck in SanFran.

    If this guy doesn’t adapt, he will never be successful.
    That inside-zone-run-pass-option offense is a joke.
    You can’t give the DL a full second of penetration at this level.
    If he coaches the OL a little better and respects the NFL guard’s role at this level, he might have a shot.

  9. Yeah, in Philly you got rid of all the good players and in SF you wanna bring in players ?!?!?!?!?

  10. Good Lord, those black 49ers uniforms look awful. Who are they kidding? Who are they trying to be?

  11. I’m not sure Chip Kelly can make such a call. Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe he doesn’t have personnel control. So if that’s true, shouldn’t the GM be at the podium?

  12. steelersnowand4ever says:
    Mar 17, 2016 9:22 AM

    Yeah, in Philly you got rid of all the good players and in SF you wanna bring in players ?!?!?!?!?

    Doesn’t that prove the Chipper is adapting?

  13. Wow, those black jerseys were just the worst. When you can’t read the number in a close-up just imagine what they looked like from the stands.

  14. “Our job is acquiring talent, not getting rid of talent.”

    Right, Chip…just like you did in Philly with DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy.

  15. The 49er train is still moving fast even though it has already come off the rails a while ago!! This ride cannot be headed in a good direction…

  16. Same old Chipper. Good luck SF fans, just turn the volume down whenever he answers questions.

  17. If all the players Chip brought in to Philly are so bad, why were other teams so willing to take them off Howie’s hands. I guess Howie is a great judge of talent and all the other GM’s in the league are stupid. That’s why the Eagles have won so many Championships while Howie has worked for Jeff.

  18. Ah the 49ers way continues! Baalke has to mask what a terrible job he’s done with 55+ Mil at his disposal and zero FA talent acquired. With so many holes to fill, the draft can only do so much and his track record hasn’t been that great there either! Enter Chip Kelly! This guy inherited a train wreck. York is mysteriously quiet, Baalke is quiet, but Chip is talking? Mmm how did that happen! Chip can’t screw up something that’s already screwed, besides he doesn’t have personnel power to acquire or trade anyone, that’s Baalke. Jed and Trent always need a fall guy to mask their deficiencies, so Chip Kelly welcome the the San Francisco 49ers! My team won’t be relevant until Baalke is gone and the York’s strip pathetic Jed from the constant meddling, and hire a real football CEO.

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