49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick can bail on the balance of his contract between March 2 and March 7. The 49ers can do so at any time. For now, both sides are still weighing their options. The process included a recent meeting between the player and his new coach and G.M., Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch, respectively.
“We had a great discussion and Colin left excited, we left excited and I think as Kyle and I really believe, the evaluation is still very much fluid,” Lynch told KNBR, via Chris Biderman of USA Today.
“And we’ve only been on the job a couple weeks. I can tell you, we both really very much [like] being around Colin and he seems like he’s in a real good place.”
Kaepernick is due to earn $14.5 million in 2017, and the 49ers surely won’t be paying him that kind of money for one more year. Given that Shanahan and Lynch are newcomers, Kaepernick is no different to them than any other free agent quarterback would be. Because he’s still under contract with the 49ers, however, the team has the ability to talk to him and to negotiate with him before he voids the contract and becomes a free agent.
There’s a chance that, in the end, both sides will decide that it’s in their mutual best interests to give it another try. The final decision will depend on the other options for the team and the other options for the player. Given that multiple other teams will not be inclined to alienate a large swath of the fan base by signing the player at the heart of the 2016 anthem protests, staying in San Francisco could be his best option.
In weighing his options, Kaepernick would benefit from some third-part advice. For now, though, he still doesn’t have an agent.