The 49ers may indeed send quarterback Colin Kaepernick to the Broncos. But the status of the the talks between the two teams is being overstated.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the 49ers and Broncos currently don’t have an agreement on trade compensation, officially or in principle. In other words, the notion that the only thing keeping a deal from happening is a deal between the Broncos and Kaepernick on a reduced contract is, as the source put it, a “real stretch.”
So why has ESPN reported that an accord between Kaepernick and the Broncos represents the only impediment to a contract? As the source put it, “someone wanted it out there.”
That “someone” apparently is someone who’d like to see the deal get done, and someone who hopes that planting a report that a deal is close will provide the push necessary to get it done.
A trade could still happen, but more work needs to be done than the Broncos and Kaepernick working out a deal regarding whether and to what extent he’ll reduce his $11.9 million base salary, which became guaranteed in full as of Friday.