The San Francisco 49ers really, really don’t want Colin Kaepernick to leave, if you believe the latest report from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
"The 49ers would also fully guarantee his salary right now if it got Colin Kaepernick to come off his request to be traded." @RapSheet
— NFL Media (@NFLMedia) March 28, 2016
It’s been over a month since Kaepernick had his agents request permission to seek a trade, and to this point nothing has come of the request. The Cleveland Browns went with Robert Griffin III, the Denver Broncos don’t want to give up as much as the 49ers want in return and the New York Jets apparently were never really interested in the first place.
Throughout the process, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke and head coach Chip Kelly have maintained their steadfast interest in retaining Kaepernick, and CEO Jed York even joined in with the chorus recently.
Many wondered if the loud support was a ruse to drive up the asking price for Kaepernick, whose last two seasons in San Francisco were less than ideal.
At this point, with no deal in sight, it must be noted the 49ers might already be on the hook to pay him his $11.9 million salary. Kaepernick is not healthy yet, recovering from three surgeries. His salary is fully guaranteed for injury, and as noted recently by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, that means he’s likely due his money, regardless of what happens.
Still, the constant message from the 49ers this offseason has been a desire to bring Kap back into the fold. It’s not hard to understand why, either. He seems to have the skill set to execute Kelly’s offense to perfection and could become one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in the league in this system.
At this point, with nothing doing on the trade front, the 49ers likely just want all the rumors and speculation to go away for good. Kaepernick really has no better options going for him. He would be wise to put the past behind him to come play for Kelly this season and let the chips fall where they may.