Kaepernick should show up Monday and force the 49ers’ hand

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With the 49ers’ offseason program opening on Monday, the overriding question is whether quarterback Colin Kaepernick will show up. Regardless of whether he will, he should. And here’s why.

The 49ers, by giving Kaepernick permission to seek a trade, presumably don’t truly want him. Which means that they’ll eventually cut him. Which means that the 49ers will pay the difference between whatever he gets elsewhere for 2016 and his fully-guaranteed $11.9 million salary.

If that’s the real plan (thinly concealed through the obvious, predictable, sound-bite B.S. that so many teams spew in situations like this), the 49ers run the risk of the $11.9 million becoming fully guaranteed — with no offset. If Kaepernick suffers a season-ending injury during the offseason program, they’ll be on the hook for the $11.9 million, and no one else will be signing him to reduce the obligation by a penny.

So Kaepernick should show up, with proverbial bells (and maybe a Dolphins . . . or an Eagles . . . or a Michigan hat) on. And he should do the bare minimum, sending the message he doesn’t want to be there while technically there. At some point (for example, before he pops an Achilles tendon like receiver Michael Crabtree did in 2013), the 49ers will dump him.

Which means that they should dump him now, agreeing to pay a chunk of the salary in exchange for a draft pick, since the best possible alternative would be paying a chunk of the salary after cutting him in exchange for nothing and the worst possible alternative would paying the full salary after an injury in exchange for nothing.

It all hinges on Kaepernick showing up tomorrow. And that’s precisely why he should.

80 responses to “Kaepernick should show up Monday and force the 49ers’ hand

  1. I think he should do all he can to screw two teams I absolutely despise; the SF Niners and the Denver Broncos.

    Go Patriots!

  2. What?? 49ers signed him to play ball. They are fine with him competing for the starting job and paying him all he is due. They recently asked him to take back his request for a trade. He’s the one asking to move on. Well, ok, son move on but you have to deal with the market for your skills that you have created, through your play and your attitude. And I guess that market is $7M, which isn’t that bad in the big scheme of things.

    Players need to grow up. Show and do your job, and earn your money. Fans aren’t paying to see players sulk on the sidelines and wear headphones during interviews.

    I root for the 49ers and I think they need to go Al Davis on him. Take a pay cut and play for the Bronocs or show up and do your job. Either one works for us. If you want to sulk and not do your job we are going to cut you, not pay you, and sue you for breach of contract.

  3. Florio; you should be an NFLPA agent or take on clients/plaintiffs as an attorney as you are definitely in tune with all the business/tricks/angles to attack the NFL/Front Offices…..Not a slam; just pointing out how devious you approach/view everything relating to the NFL Establishment.

  4. Showing up and doing the bare minimmum isn’t something a grown man would do rather they are happy or not.. I would hope kaepernick has more respect then that. horrible idea!

  5. Maybe the Niners are curious what Kaep looks like in Chip’s offense. They sound like they’d move him for the right price, or just keep him for the season and find out what they’ve got. The top qb’s will be gone by the time they’re on the clock in the first round anyways.

  6. Didn’t you just write an article claiming the 49ers couldn’t cut him until he is medically cleared or something? If he isn’t medically cleared to do anything football related, how is he going to get hurt by showing up tomorrow?

  7. Kap wanted to go to Cleveland but not enough to take the pay cut…..do you really think he will let go of the money when he is days away from banking it?

  8. What are you talking about Florio ? When is the last time you paid somebody a large amount of money to go and work for another site?

    The 9ERS hold all the cards.

    They have plenty of cap space, and could have him compete for a starting role or as a backup to Gabbert if they wanted. Then trade or release him next off season.

    Why should the 9ERS pay him 4.9mil to play for Denver? If I’m the 9ERS I wouldn’t pay him a dime unless he’s playing for me. If Denver wants him bad enough like they say then they should pay his asking salary.

    Kaeps the one who asked to be traded. If he really wants out then he needs to take a paycut and move on. If he wants all the 11.9mil then he needs to shut up and honor his contract to SF.

  9. To be clear I think he just needs to show up for a certain percentage of these early camps so if he doesn’t show tomorrow that doesn’t mean he loses the bonus..

  10. Just as easy to give the 49ers the following advice:

    Kaepernick wants to make sure that he can earn good QB money in 2017 and beyond. If he is on the bench in 2016, that greatly weakens Kaepernick’s bargaining position after the 49ers cut him after the 2016 season.

    Consequently, what the 49ers should do is treat Kaepernick the way Washington treated RG3 last year. Let him know that Gabbert is the starter and that Kaepernick will be the #3 not the #2.

    If Kaepernick wants to maximize his 2016 income at the expense of the rest of his career, then he should follow the bad advice in the article. If the 49ers want to get the best outcome for them they should force Kapernick to have to chose between maximizing his career earnings or effectively giving up on his own career by sitting out another season (2016) as the #3 for the 49ers.

  11. The 9ers are really the only ones with any sort of leverage in all of this.

    And I can’t believe I’m saying this but allowing Kap to seek a trade might’ve been the shrewdest thing they’ve done in a long time because either Kap gets traded and they get a draft pick or they are in a position where Kap can’t point the finger back at them because the only reason he hasn’t been traded because he’s the one that doesn’t want to take a pay cut.

    So if Kap is on the 9ers roster he only has himself to blame and furthermore if Kap wants to make his money he has to perform this season so teams will take on his contract or he’s going to run into the same problem as he is right now with teams wanting to cut down his contract.

  12. Florio, you are off-base on this one. Kaepernick is currently injured, and his salary is already guaranteed. This is a sunk cost. The marginal cost for the Niners to keep him this year is quite low. There is no reason for the Niners to push this. Either the Broncos will pony up or not.

    See what I did there?

  13. Show up, work your tail off, show who you really are and you will get paid. Leave the mind games at home. It’s a lot less stressful to just be great and try to win. If the niners want to bench u, so be it. Collect your $12 mil and then choose your next stop next year.

  14. This is just a strange situation going on in a strange organization. I’m not pointing fingers or blaming anyone, but it’s strange. The team was horrible for years and years. Then they hired a great coach, Jim Harbaugh, and they immediately went from the worst team to the best team in the NFC, without any changes to the roster. Then the team imploded, Harbaugh left, and they returned to being one of the worst teams in the NFL. It’s just strange. In the mean time, several good players have gotten up and walked out the door. Kaepernick seems to be the latest player that wants out. Something very strange is going on in SF.

  15. It seems like Elway is playing hard ball with too many players….He lost Brock and two big defensive players, then played hard ball with CJ Anderson only to have to bite the bullet and match what the Dolphins were offering, which is way more than if he’d just signed him in the first place. Better be careful or the Sanchise is your starting QB!

  16. sdchicken says:
    Apr 3, 2016 7:23 PM
    Show up, work your tail off, show who you really are and you will get paid. Leave the mind games at home. It’s a lot less stressful to just be great and try to win. If the niners want to bench u, so be it. Collect your $12 mil and then choose your next stop next year.

    He is under contract next year as well…..in fact, for several more…..each with SF holding the cards/leverage. This is the time to try and move on, if he really can’t see himself in the Kelly Offense. Going to the defending Champs, with that “D” and competitive team is the right move. Especially, if he renegotiates an “opt out” clause for taking the reduction in salary.

  17. As a reminder, here is what Kaepernick signed on 6/4/2014: a seven-year, $126.97 million contract. The deal contains $61 million guaranteed, although only $13.073 was guaranteed at signing — a $12,328,766 signing bonus, Kaepernick’s 2014 base salary, and a $100,000 first-year workout bonus. Kaepernick’s 2015-2017 base salaries are guaranteed only for injury. Kaepernick is eligible for annual $2 million per-game roster bonuses and offseason workout bonuses of $400,000 in years two through seven. 2016: $13.9 million, 2017: $16.5 million, 2018: $17 million, 2019: $18.8 million, 2020: $21 million, 2021: Free Agent

    What Denver is likely more troubled with is the bigger salaries in 2017-2020.

  18. Who will look better?:

    Kaep in Chip’s system,

    Or Dirty Sanchez in Kubiak’s

  19. Look at it this way, even if Jed the incredible has to pay 4.9 of the $12 plus million and the Broncos pay the other half, John York still congratulates his genius son for saving 7 million bucks, which will buy a lot of water they can sell at team headquarters, but if I were his dad I’d then whup his rear for unnecessarily blowing the remaining 5 million bucks on the headcase headphone boy.

  20. I’m not convinced they will rely on yo gabba gabba at the helm to start. They could be seeking Fritz behind the scenes. If they could pull that off after Kap to DEN. paying him a little more than NY. It would be just a little more overall (with the $ to Den.) then what Kap would have gotten and a draft pick as well.

  21. If the 49ers pay a player to play for another team they should be kicked out of the league.

  22. So Kaepernick has $12 million gross pay coming in. That is a crazy $5 million after taxes. Give his staff (agent, etc.) another $1 million. So $4 million cash and a career looking like Tim Tebow’s.

    So which 49er fan would take a $1 or $3 million pay cut to play for Denver? This is not monoply money. There are no guarantees of health or playing time either place.

    I would hang onto the $4 million that’s left and stand my ground. I do not even want to talk about his lost value by 2017 with Kirk Cousins making $20 million this year. Blaine Gabbert was declared a disaster solution to Kaepernick, but he still made $2 million.

  23. GrantRodgers says:
    Apr 3, 2016 7:44 PM

    Thank You and as 9er fan I do hope this Kid gets as far away from this mismanagement as possible. Sad

  24. Kap is due his money, and after 2016 is unlikely to get more fat paychecks. Show up, try hard, and if SF gives him the RG3 treatment, then fine. Collect his 12MM, and then the next season (2017), go to where he wants (at a low salary).

    The 49ers are throwing away 12MM. If they don’t want him, then trade him. Eat some money and get a draft pick.
    Or eat the fill 12MM and get nothing.
    It looks to me like the 49ers badly mismanaged this.

  25. Option A – pay Kap 12M and don’t us ehim.

    Option B – Pay Kap X, Denver pays 12 – X, and the 49ers get a draft pick. 49ers save money and get something useful.

    Which option sounds better?

    >>Packernet says:
    Apr 3, 2016 8:05 PM
    If the 49ers pay a player to play for another team they should be kicked out of the league.

  26. I have to give you credit Florio. You work some smart angles, and this is probably going to play out the way you are describing. I’m going to go rinse my mouth out with bleach now.

  27. News flash for Florio…Kap’s $11.9M is already guaranteed. He’s got it all wrong…the Niners aren’t driving this train, Denver (Elway) is. Kap reporting for training in Santa Clara on Monday is exactly what he should do, since he’s under contract. Elway’s trying to avoid restructuring contracts of his own players…I don’t see the Niners forking over a single dime.

  28. There is an issue of him not being cleared for football activities. What exactly is happening tomorrow that would constitute football activities. All he needs to do is show up, wear the red shirt, and walk around the field to just warm up. At least he is doing something and the 49ers would still on the hook. So yes, I agree. He should show up.

  29. San Fran should stand their ground. Denver was willing to pay Osweiler $16m (allegedly) with 7 career starts at the age of 25. Kaepernick had 7 career starts at the same age, with better stats, and went on to make 3 more in the playoffs, while Brock was benched for the playoffs. Alex Smith in 2012 was hella better than Peyton Manning in 2015 as well. Then Kaepernick went on to two more NFC title games, so he is much more proven than Osweiler. But they are not willing to pay him 75% the money they offered Brock, without even having to deal with the big up front signing bonus? How were they planning to pay Osweiler if they can’t afford the lesser salary of Kaepernick?

  30. The 49ers are not the villain. They didn’t force him to suck to the point of being benched for Gabbert. They didn’t force him to sign his contract. They didn’t tell him they were trading him. He should show up and compete because that is what he is paid $11.9M a year to do. Why should they pay $4.9M for him to play for another team? Elway has zero leverage. No way he’s going into the season with Dirty Sanchez as the starter. The next headline will be that Denver found the Money or Kap caved and took less.

  31. Pretty obvious Kaep played his hand Mike.
    He wants out.
    SF is seeking compensation. Nothing more.
    He won’t force anyone’s hand but his own.
    He could ultimately spend the year like RG III did last year.
    Watching someone else do the job he was paid to do.

    Kaep has quit.
    Nothing admirable about it, either.

    He’s shown himself to be anything but deserving of the Contract he signed.
    Why not take what’s out there, instead of playing the leverage game, which his Camp has none of?
    Because he thinks he’s worth the current Contract?
    He can have it but, he’s obviously not inclined to regain the job.
    Instead, he believes he’s dealing from a position of strength somehow.
    His Agents agreed to the terms he’s working under.
    He simply doesn’t want to own up to it.

    Elway is stuck too.
    No money.
    No QB.
    Baalke doesn’t need to blink.

  32. faithful49er707 says:
    Apr 3, 2016 6:43 PM
    What are you talking about Florio ? When is the last time you paid somebody a large amount of money to go and work for another site?

    The 9ERS hold all the cards.

    They have plenty of cap space, and could have him compete for a starting role or as a backup to Gabbert if they wanted. Then trade or release him next off season.

    Why should the 9ERS pay him 4.9mil to play for Denver? If I’m the 9ERS I wouldn’t pay him a dime unless he’s playing for me. If Denver wants him bad enough like they say then they should pay his asking salary.


    I would say that Kaep holds all the leverage here. Kaep can collect his $11.9 million by doing practically nothing and the 49ers can’t do anything about it. Sure, the 49ers have the cap space and the money, but if you were the owner, would you want to pay $11.9 million for a deadweight to sit on the bench and cause trouble? Don’t you think the 49ers would be better off paying him $4 million and getting a draft pick in return?

    Set your personal grudges aside and the business decision is easy:

    Option A: Pay $11.9 million to a guy who contributes literally nothing to the team other than a distraction this year.
    Option B: Pay $4 million (or whatever amount) to a guy who contributes literally nothing to the team, but at least get a draft pick in return for him while saving $8 million to spend on other players that actually will contribute.

  33. Maybe the compromise is in the draft pick compensation. 9ers could pay Kap the money that Denver can’t (or won’t) in exchange for better draft compensation, whether that be moving up a round with the pick, or adding a second later pick to the deal. That gives SF something for their money at least.

  34. Somewhere within the fine print of Kaeps’ Contract are terms related to Insurance for his Deal as well.
    Kaep pays that Premium, with the 9ers as Beneficiary too.

    This whole mess is predicated on his Agents trying to rewrite the Deal he’s working under.
    The blew it.
    The 9ers saw it coming.

    He was a product of a healthy Defense and a strong running game under Harbaugh.
    He’s now exposed for what he is.
    A RB that plays QB.

  35. The 9ERS hold all the cards.
    Nope. Kaep holds all the cards and he knows it!

  36. I hope Baalke doesn’t blink.
    And ends up with Kaepernick on the 2016 roster at the start of the season.

    loser – Broncos & Elway – staring Mark Sanchez

    loser – 49ers & Baalke – stuck with Kap

  37. I don’t see why Denver would really be interested in Kaepernick. I understand they lost Osweiller and Manning but trying to replace them with Kaepernick? Just don’t see it. Perhaps they should’ve done more to keep Osweiller. As for the 9ers I agree with one of the above posters that they should bump him down the depth chart and make him prove he deserves to be #1 again even though I’ll admit he may be a good fit for Chip’s system.

  38. How can another team carry part of the money. This should put them over the cap. Is the cap real or can owners get together to bepass the cap. This means that owners who really get along can bypass the cap. if broncos want him then they should PAY for him and get their cap in order.
    Wasn’t Denver the team that had Elway get paid by the owner (personal services contract) the two years they won super bowl. Al Davis complained about it then. Trying to cheat again.

  39. Not doing the deal with Denver doesn’t mean the 49ers are stuck with Kaepernick. They have the entire off season and as much of the regular season as they need to wait for another team to be desperate for a proven starting QB. Stuff happens, injuries, surprise retirements, off field issues. Meanwhile he is available to them as well, if he wants to collect his salary.

  40. Is there even an offset clause in his contract? This article is written as if there is one. If not, they won’t get anything unless they trade him. Hurt or cut with no offset means they fully pay. If he gets hurt and is still hurt next off season, his 2017 salary is guaranteed also just like this year was.

  41. he is the one that wants to leave right? then why should the 49’ers pay him money to not play for them? he has the choice to take the trade and the money the broncos want to pay him or show up the 49’ers work outs and compete for the job. if he doesn’t then he gets nothing but the team should not be paying him to be traded. if he gets hurt working out for them then those are the breaks of the game but he should not be rewarded for getting his way.

  42. In simple terms, Kaepernick is looking for a new home because he lost his job to a player the 49ers acquired for a sixth round pick and are paying $2 million a year to start for them.

    So of course the 9ers should trade him to the reigning world champs AND pay half his salary next season to boot. I mean, he has to be worth 6 times more than Gabbert, right? Right?

  43. Nothing unreasonable about the 49ers paying Kaepernick $5 million to play for the Broncos while they pay the guy who beat him out for the starting job $2 million. Makes total sense.

  44. Case of horrible ownership. No one wins, no one wants to work for this ownership. Kap gave ownership a favorable deal and they in turn proceeded to burn the team to the ground. Coach players free agents all wanted out or moved on. Kap got rewarded with the worst coaching in the league and an offensive line that was just that offensive. Yielded the most sacks two years in a row. Kap get three surgeries but stays and plays until he gets benched. Bench the Yorks….

  45. The argument that San Francisco “shouldn’t pay a player to play for another team” really misses the point. The problem for SF is that they’re stuck with an $11.9 million contract because they couldn’t cut Kaep due to his injury. So SF can now either pay a guy $11.9 million to do sit on their bench and cause a distraction, or they can cut their losses and at least get a draft pick in return while moving on with their team.

    MLB teams “pay other teams to take their players” all the time — at the end of the day, they save money on the traded player’s contract and typically get valuable prospects/draft picks in return to help build for the future. This isn’t a much different situation.

  46. Rule number one: NEVER take advice from a liberal two-bit boiler-room lawyer with very minimal sports knowledge.

    Otherwise; advise on…..

  47. OK here’s my prediction what ever team Kaepernick ends up on he will a half ways decent pre season then start the Regular season 0-3 get benched and Eventually Cut to never be heard from again. Sorry he’s just not cut out to be a NFL QB.

  48. bert1913 says:
    Apr 3, 2016 6:48 PM

    who has it better? answer: 31 other teams

    At this point the Broncos are throwing up a prayer at the QB position.

    Make that 30 other teams

  49. How about he just show up and play his best? That usually works out for the better in the long run.
    The Diva’s that show up and do the bare minimum rarely have long term success.

  50. Ok, I know you are just filling content, but you know that does not make much sense, right?

    For the first two weeks, team activities are basically fitness room work and meetings, nothing on field. Could he get hurt in the weight room? Potentially, but not likely.

    More importantly, the reported stumbling block is not willingness to trade him, but a contract between him and the Broncos. So he is forcing the niners to do … exactly what they were doing?

    He should show up on Monday because he has a half million on the line for attendance of team activities if a trade doesn’t get done, and because the more willingness he shows to work with the 49ers, the more leverage he has against Denver. That’s it.

  51. Should be easy for him to make it since he’s been sleeping under one of the benches.

  52. I can’t believe most of the negative comments about Colin Kaepernick. People calling him “Dumb, limited, can’t read defenses” and etc. I think everyone knows what the veiled sentiments around most of that trash is and where it comes from. But give the guy a break. PLEASE! He is a 4 win-2 loss playoff QB in his very short career so far. With A trip to 1 Super Bowl and 2 Conference Finals. He has a playoff QBR of 81! He has proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that he is not only unafraid of “the big moments & stage”. But he actually embraces both. Contrast that to Blaine Gabbert, who San Fran/Chip Kelly is left with. I have yet to see him rise up to challenge the eentsy weentsy-tiny moments. THe guy got physically hurt and psychologically devastated by the deconstruction/collapse of the team by ownership and management. Bottom line-this will be a flat out steal by Elway if he can pull it off. And vault Denver right back into the thick of Super Bowl 51 contention, if Kaep is only 75% as good as he was pre-injuries. Most have forgotten that He was being compared by people like Steve Young, John Gruden, Bradshaw and others as potentially a more dynamic Elway at the time.

    So yeah. He should show up to practice Monday. And then jump the 1st flight to Denver. And play for Kubiak & Elway. Who can help rehabilitate him. And proceed to win at least 2 Super Bowls with him. How many playoff games or Super Bowls do the naysayers think San Fran will win with Gabbert and Kelly?

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